Psychosocial care of families in palliative care

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The families of patients in the palliative care setting have a range of educational and care needs that form part of the basic responsibility of the hospice service. Routine family meetings are an important way to address these needs. Additionally, up to one third of families have some level of dysfunction in their relationships, which prove predictive of morbid bereavement outcomes-prolonged grief and major depressive disorders. These families who carry risk of poorer outcomes need additional care, optimally commenced during palliative care, and continued into bereavement to provide continuity of service. Assessment of family strengths and relational functioning provide insight into clinical targets to support a family. The needs of children, the elderly, disabled, or mentally ill family members need to be addressed alongside those of patients with complex illnesses. A preventive model of family-centred care may involve six to ten family therapy sessions across nine to 18 months.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychosocial Issues in Palliative Care
Subtitle of host publicationA Community Based Approach For Life Limiting Illness
EditorsMari Lloyd-Williams
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780198806677
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2018


  • Dysfunctional
  • Family distress
  • Family functioning
  • Family meetings
  • Family needs
  • Family therapy
  • Family-centred care

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