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The myths of coping with loss in undergraduate psychiatric nursing books

Authors

  • E. Alison Holman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Program in Nursing Science, University of California, 205A Irvine Hall, Irvine, CA 92697-3959
    • Program in Nursing Science, University of California, 205A Irvine Hall, Irvine, CA 92697-3959.
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    • Assistant Professor.

  • Jennifer Perisho,

    1. Surgical/Transplant ICU, Ronald Reagan University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
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    • Clinical Nurse II.

  • Ada Edwards,

    1. Surgical ICU, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, Orange, CA
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    • Clinical Nurse II.

  • Natalie Mlakar

    1. Neuroscience ICU, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, Orange, CA
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    • Clinical Nurse II.


  • We would like to thank the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for supporting this project with grant 404107-09511 to Campuswide Honors student Jennifer Perisho, under the mentorship of E. Alison Holman. We thank our nursing librarian, Robert Johnson for his assistance with identifying and collecting books for this study. UROP had no role in the design or conduct of the study, in the collection, analyses and interpretation of the data, nor in the preparation, review, approval, or control of the manuscript.

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

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