Tan Tock Seng Hospital1
Many bereaved individuals are often at a loss of what to do after their loved one passes on. Some may not have a robust social support structure, and may feel stigmatised to see a counsellor. We designed a concise Bereavement Guide (BG) which normalises the grieving process.
The hard copy BG with practical tips was mailed to our patients’ relatives 1-2 weeks after our patients’ demise. We conducted brief telephone interviews 4-6 weeks after mailing the BGs out. Of 88 families who were meant to receive the BGs, we managed to survey 50 families.
Of the 50 families we interviewed, 34 received the BG. For the 16 families which did not receive the BG, 7 were staying at different postal addresses. 53% (18 of 34) read the BG and 94% gave positive feedback, citing that it was “useful information” and “very helpful’. Amongst those that received the BG but chose not to read it (47%), this was mainly due to being “too busy” (8 of 16). Of the remaining 8 families, 25% were limited by illiteracy, 25% did not wish to read grief-related material, 25% felt that such material would not be useful and the last 25% felt that they were coping well.
More than half of the bereaved individuals who received the BG read our publication and an overwhelming majority endorsed its utility in helping them cope with their grief.