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Keywords:

  • Myths of coping;
  • loss;
  • bereavement;
  • grief;
  • evidence-based practice;
  • resilience;
  • psychiatric nursing

Abstract

Nurses often help patients cope with loss. Recent research has cast doubt on the validity of early theories about loss and grief commonly taught to nurses. We systematically examined the accuracy of information on coping with loss presented in 23 commonly used undergraduate psychiatric nursing books. All 23 books contained at least one unsupported assumption (myth) about loss and grief. In 78% of these books, authors described four or more myths and only one evidence-based finding about coping with loss. On balance most books provided details on the myths about grief and loss with minimal discussion of the current evidence. Authors of psychiatric nursing books continue to disseminate unsupported theories about grief responses without adequately acknowledging evidence challenging core assumptions underlying them. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 33:486–499, 2010