Family Focused Grief Therapy: A Model of Family-Centered Care during Palliative Care and Bereavement

By David W. Kissane; Sidney Bloch | Go to book overview

9 Clinical application of
the FFGT model

The hospice movement strives to deliver family-centred care since the distress associated with a terminal illness permeates throughout the family (WHO 1990). It also embraces bereavement care by recognizing that it would be cruel to abandon the grieving family merely because death has occurred (Parkes 1979). Having established a therapeutic relationship with the family, clinical responsibility persists until grief is, at least, resolving satisfactorily. Yet, despite the best of intentions, many services may not be sufficiently equipped to meet these objectives. This is a developmental issue since palliative care is after all a young discipline (Clark and Seymour 1999); its early efforts concentrated more on the physical than the psychological or social. We hope that FFGT can contribute to making the psychosocial domain as natural a target of care as the relief of pain and other bodily symptoms. In this final chapter, we offer a series of suggestions that may see this goal being accomplished as FFGT is incorporated as a regular feature of the comprehensive clinical service.


FFGT – a structured, preventive and cost-effective model

Within busy clinical units, a programmatic approach is required to ensure the comprehensive delivery of complex services. The implicit structure brings together trained staff with patients and their carers, sets an agenda to address pertinent issues, monitors progress by responding flexibly to clinical needs and observes outcome. Moreover, this process warrants integration with other clinical activities as a desideratum in order to avoid overlap and to promote coordinated care. Excellent communication between professionals is assumed.

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