The management of family conflict in palliative care

Wendy G. Lichtenthal, David W. Kissane

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We review the literature on family conflict in palliative care. The prevalence and common sources of conflict are discussed, including historical issues of tension, differing coping styles, the division of labour, and the presence of acute or chronic mental illness within the family. Assessment and intervention strategies used in Family Focused Grief Therapy (FFGT), a family-centred preventive intervention that begins during palliative care and continues during bereavement, are presented, with special consideration given to research on treatment decision-making, cultural issues, special-needs populations, and the management of crises within the family. We conclude with a discussion of challenges that frequently impede conflict resolution and with suggestions for addressing these difficulties in the palliative care setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Palliative Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2008


  • Family conflict
  • Family focused grief therapy
  • Management
  • Palliative care

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