Literature review on Kubler Rosss stages of grief

Document Type:Review

Subject Area:Education

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It also focuses on the provision of emotional and spiritual care to the patients. A hospice family mainly involves the patients within a hospice care agency or organization. In such a family, it is important to understand the emotional, spiritual, and medical needs of the patients as a social worker. Patients within a hospice family are mainly people with untreatable diseases and those who have reached a level that their illnesses cannot be treated effectively. Most people in such families are near death and need to be treated with care, love, and lots of patience. However, in order to minimize it among patients, social workers are required to concentrate on the five stages as enumerated and provide sound decisions. Kübler-Ross's five stages of grief include; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance all which should be not be confused with happy stage (Barone & Ivy, 2004).

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The Kubler Ross stages of grief present a group experience that people undergo during grief. In hospice care, the social workers deal with patients in different stages of grief. The absence of Kubler Ross theory by social workers in hospice facilities can lead to failure of recognizing the persistent psychological, spiritual as well as social distress among patients. These articles (Sormanti & Christ, 2008), (Metcalf, 2013) and (Klunder, 2011) explore the common forms of communication and skill that occurs based on emotional, practical support and life review. The idea of this setting is not to “cure” but to “care” for the patient until the 11th hour of their life. One of the important communication skills set in hospice is empathetic listening. Providing empathetic listening presents to the patient and family that the social worker genuinely cares.

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Patients and families feel empowered and might be able to say what they are thinking because they can express their emotions. Erickson’s human developmental theory discusses the consecutive stages of life. “Each stage involves biological, social, or cultural issues which a person must face and master before one can move onto the next stage (Ashford & LeCroy, 2013). In the seventh stage generativity versus stagnation, one reaches a moment where they want to feel fulfilled by their life accomplishments. “The goal is for a person to pass on his or her knowledge to others and to leave a legacy” (Haber, 2006). This is normally established through the life review form of communication. These articles (Goldsworthy, 2005), Ashford & LeCroy, 2013) and (Kubler-Ross, 1969) highlight the recognition of working with grief and loss issues established as being one of the vital skills of social work.

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Older adults are the most common client system in hospice care. Grief is important for older adults who form the highest population in hospice facilities as they exhibit many forms of symptoms when they reach end of life. For instance, depression among older adults is considered to be high and with great morbidity risks thus requiring social workers to have a better grasp of grief theory in effecting their care duties. Moreover, older adults are reluctant to seek the bereavement support as their younger adults but with the understanding of grief, social workers will be in a better position to know when support is needed. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle” (Gregory, 2018).

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Anger is the next and most necessary and common stage. Death is a very difficult subject and anger can easily be evoked especially when a person is being told they have a certain time to live. The fourth stage in the stages of grief is depression. One may be in the state feel sad and cry often and may even isolate themselves from others. A person’s sleeping patterns or even appetite may change which can manifest into physical symptoms such as aching and pain. “In fact, most people associate depression immediately with grief – as it is a “present” emotion. It represents the emptiness we feel when we are living in reality and realize the person or situation is gone or over. However, the use of practice theory to provide social workers with succinct knowledge when dealing with patients in hospice facilities is crucial.

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The key similarities in this literature review are based on Hospice social work skills, conceptual frameworks that inform micro practice and the Kubler Ross’s role in the work setting of hospices and detecting grief. A difference that surfaced, was the discussion of how prepare a social worker may be in working at a hospice setting in regard to the theoretical foundation provided from graduate school and master’s programs. The article (Sormanti & Christ, 2008) discusses the curriculums of master’s programs of preparing an individual of becoming a social worker but further digs into what practice skills a person may learn that will aid them in being prepared to enter the field of hospice after graduation. “Results suggested that not unlike the professions of medicine and nursing, social work knowledge and skill development in the care of the dying is uneven and not integrated sufficiently with theoretical concepts and research.

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References Ashford, J. B. LeCroy, C. W. Human behavior in the social environment: A multidimensional perspective. Sormanti, M. Advancing social work practice in end of life care. Social work in healthcare (30 ed. Clarke, D. M. Johnson - Hurzeler, R. Kaplan, D. Bruce, M. L. Bradley, E. International Journal of Aging and Development, 63(2), 153-171. doi: 10. DA9G-RHK5-N9JP-T6CC Klunder, K. The complex maze called hospice social work. Denver, Colorado: Outskirts Press, Inc. Ignacio.

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