Fast Fact and Concept #32: Grief and Bereavement (Part I)

Return to Fast Facts Index

Title: Fast Fact and Concept #32: Grief and Bereavement (Part I)

Author(s): James Hallenbeck, MD

Grief is a normal response to loss, any loss: a job, a limb, a life. Clinicians have an important role in facilitating healthy grieving, and observing for signs of complicated grief. Grief experienced by dying patients and loved-ones prior to and in anticipation of death is called anticipatory grief (or mourning); grief of loved-ones following a death is termed bereavement.

What can the physician do to facilitate normal grieving: Watch for Part 2: Bereavement and Complicated Bereavement

Also See:
Fast Fact #43: Is it Grief or Depression


Byock I. Dying Well. Riverhead. NY. 1997.

Rando TA, Clinical Dimensions of Anticipatory Mourning, Research Press, Champaign, Il, 2000.

Fast Facts and Concepts was originally developed as an end-of-life teaching tool by Eric Warm, MD, U. Cincinnati, Department of Medicine. See: Warm, E. Improving EOL care--internal medicine curriculum project. J Pall Med 1999; 2: 339-340.

Copyright Notice: Users are free to download and distribute Fast Facts for educational purposes only. Citation for referencing: Warm, E. Fast Facts and Concepts #32: Grief and Bereavment (Part 1), January, 2001. End-of-Life Physician Education Resource Center, www.eperc.mcw.edu.

Disclaimer: Fast Facts provide educational information, this information is not medical advice. Health care providers should exercise their own independent clinical judgment. Some Fast Fact information cites the use of a product in dosage, for an indication, or in a manner other than that recommended in the product labeling. Accordingly, the official prescribing information should be consulted before any such product is used.

Creation Date: 1/2001

Format: Handouts

Purpose: Instructional Aid, Self-Study Guide

Training: Fellows, 1st/2nd Year Medical Students, 3rd/4th Year Medical Students, PGY1 (Interns), PGY2-6, Physicians in Practice
Specialty: Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Hematology/Oncology, Neurology, OB/GYN, Ophthalmology, Pulmonary/Critical Care, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Surgery
Non-Physician: Clergy/Chaplains, General Public, Graduate Students, Lawyers, Patients/Families, Nurses, Social Workers

ACGME Competencies: Medical Knowledge, Patient Care

Keyword(s): Grief/bereavement

The Fast Facts series is distributed for educational use only and does not constitute medical advice. For the most current version of Fast Facts visit the EPERC web site at www.eperc.mcw.edu. This mirror version is provided subject to copyright restrictions for educational use within the Inter-Instutional Collaborating Network on End-of-Life Care (IICN).