Are changes in routine health behaviours the missing link between bereavement and poor physical and mental health?

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Olivia Maynard summarises a systematic review of changes in routine health behaviours following later life bereavement, which finds strong support for changes in nutrition, sleep quality and weight status after bereavement.

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Childhood abuse and adverse life events interact synergistically to produce a high risk for psychotic experiences

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This recent study concludes that childhood abuse creates an enduring vulnerability to psychosis that is realised in the event of exposure to further stressors and risk factors, such as separation, bereavement, or being involved in an accident or physical attack.

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Bereavement during childhood, but not before birth, is associated with an increased risk of psychosis

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Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, are often conceptualised as arising from a complex interplay of genetic and environmental influences (Tandon 2008). The impact of social influences on the risk of psychotic experience is undeniable. Recent reviews of this topic have called for a focus on maternal wellbeing as a means of primary prevention for mental [read the full story…]

Needs of carers and supporters must be acknowledged to ensure good support to bereaved people with learning disabilities

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In recent years, a number of studies have begun to explore bereavement and grief in people with learning disabilities. Hollins and Esterhuyzen (1997) for example in the late 1990s reported the results of a matched control group study into the reaction of people with learning disabilities to bereavement, which found highly significant differences significant differences [read the full story…]

Staff training in bereavement improves knowledge but impact on practice unknown

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Staff supporting people with learning disabilities may find it extremely difficult to deal with bereavement in somebody they support. It is important to recognise that everybody has the right to grieve when they lose somebody they cared for, and this is just as true for people with learning disabilities. The researchers in this study recognised [read the full story…]

Supporting carers with anticipatory grief for a loved one with dementia: systematic review

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Caring for someone close to you with dementia can be a long and rocky road. Family carers often focus on the needs of their loved one and forget about their own health and wellbeing, which can make it harder to cope as time goes on. The relationship between the carer and the recipient of care [read the full story…]

First national bereavement survey published by the Department of Health

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The Department of Health have published the results of the first nationwide survey of bereaved relatives in England. The survey looked at the last 3 months of life and assessed the quality of care that people received and how this varied in different parts of the country and in different groups of patients. The postal [read the full story…]

Some people with learning disabilities may have a partial understanding of the concept of death

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It is clearly important to pay close attention to the emotional needs of people with learning disabilities at a time of bereavement, but this can be especially difficult to do if the bereaved person has a limited understanding of the concept of death. The researchers in this study wanted to understand how people with learning [read the full story…]