Article Text

Using a framework to help cope with transition and loss
  1. Frances Trowell, Clinical Nurse Specialist (Palliative Care), Nurse Specialist
  1. Harris Hospiscare, Orpington, Kent. Email: frances.trowell{at}


Transitions in life and feelings of loss should not be associated solely with bereavement. Dying patients face a series of complex situations that may result in the experience of transition and loss. Issues of transition and loss may underpin many patients’ symptoms and problems, creating the need for professional intervention. This article describes how Worden’s ‘tasks of bereavement’ model, a framework devised to help bereavement counsellors focus their work with bereaved people, was applied to a clinical situation. Having identified some of the issues related to loss, the article demonstrates how the author used this model as a framework to offer a patient understanding and appropriate help relating to her sense of loss of function and role. The use of the model enabled a structured approach to be developed, creating boundaries for engagement that proved useful because time was limited and painful issues were being explored. Conflicts of interest: none

  • End-of-life care
  • Grief
  • Loss
  • Transition

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