Being there: A scoping review of grief support training in medical education

Autoři: Laura Sikstrom aff001;  Riley Saikaly;  Genevieve Ferguson aff002;  Pamela J. Mosher aff003;  Sarah Bonato aff001;  Sophie Soklaridis aff001
Působiště autorů: Office of Education, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada aff001;  Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada aff002;  Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada aff003;  Division of Psychosocial Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada aff004;  Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada aff005;  Departments of Psychiatry and Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada aff006;  Cross-appointed Scientist, Wilson Centre, University Health Network and Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada aff007
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224325



Medical education experts argue that grief support training for physicians would improve physician and patient and family wellness, and should therefore be mandatory. However, there is little evidence about the range of curricula interventions or the impact of grief training. The aim of this scoping review was to describe the current landscape of grief training worldwide in medical school, postgraduate residency and continuing professional development in the disciplines of pediatrics, family medicine and psychiatry.


Using Arksey and O’Malley’s scoping review principles, MEDLINE, EMBASE, ERIC, PsychInfo and Web of Science were searched by a librarian. Two levels of screening took place: a title and abstract review for articles that fit a predefined criteria and a full-text review of articles that met those criteria. Three investigators reviewed the articles and extracted data for analysis. To supplement the search, we also scanned the reference lists of included studies for possible inclusion.


Thirty-seven articles published between 1979 and 2019 were analyzed. Most articles described short voluntary grief training workshops. At all training levels, the majority of these workshops focused on transmitting knowledge about the ethical and legal dimensions of death, dying and bereavement in medicine. The grief trainings described were characterized by the use of diverse pedagogical tools, including lectures, debriefing sessions, reflective writing exercises and simulation/role-play.


Grief training was associated with increased self-assessed knowledge and expertise; however, few of the studies analyzed the impact of grief training on physician and patient and family wellness. Our synthesis of the literature indicates key gaps exist, specifically regarding the limited emphasis on improving physicians’ communication skills around death and dying and the limited use of interactive and self-reflexive learning tools. Most trainings also had an overly narrow focus on bereavement grief, rather than a more broadly defined definition of loss.

Klíčová slova:

Learning – Medical education – Patients – Pediatrics – Physicians – Psychological stress – Trainees – Workshops


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