The death of a loved one. A proposal to prevent complicated grief in palliative home care when assistance ends

Vittorio Lenzo, Carmen Isgrò, Antonino Germanà, Micol Mazzei, Caterina Testaì, Valeria Verrastro, Maria Catena Quattropani


Background: past studies have investigated the relationship between mourning and the quality of life in caregivers who care for terminally ill patients. Recently, complicated pain has been recognized as a risk factor for mental and physical health and severe suffering can interfere with individual functioning and social relationships. Every day, home-based palliative care workers confront health professionals who may develop complicated pain after the patient's death.

Methods: the aim is to identify family members who take care of a high risk of complicated pain and to do this the SISIFO Consortium has developed a psychological intervention program to prevent complicated pain in family caregivers of terminally ill patients.

Results: the common features of the psychological intervention and the future directions of the research were discussed.

Conclusions: the purpose of this document is to illustrate the detailed procedure of the palliative home care service. Furthermore, the results of the psychological intervention program adopted by the service were briefly summarized.

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