RISK FOR COMPLICATED GRIEVING
At risk for a disorder that occurs after the death of a signiﬁcant other,
in which the experience of distress accompanying bereavement fails to
follow normative expectations and manifests in functional impairment
• Death of a signiﬁcant other
• Emotional instability
• Lack of social support
ASSESSMENT FOCUS (Refer to comprehensive assessment parameters.)
• Emotional status
• Nutrition status
The patient will
• Express appropriate feelings of loss, guilt, fear, anger, or sadness.
• Identify loss and describe meaning of loss.
• Appropriately move through stages of grieving.
• Maintain healthy patterns of sleep, activity, and eating.
• List personal strengths.
• Use healthy coping mechanisms and social support systems.
• Seek fulﬁllment through preferred spiritual practices.
• Begin planning for future.
SUGGESTED NOC OUTCOMES
Grief Resolution; Life Change Adjustment
INTERVENTIONS AND RATIONALES
Determine: Identify areas of hope in patient’s life to help decrease
anger and feelings of frustration.
Identify previous losses and assess for depression to establish a
Perform: Perform interventions to promote sleep such as giving
snack, pillows, backrub, or shower to enhance rest.
Inform: Teach patient relaxation techniques such as guided imagery,
meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation to promote feelings of
Attend: Encourage patient to express grief and feelings of anger,
guilt, and sadness. Inability to express these feelings may result in
Encourage patient to express feelings in a way he is most comfort-
able with, for example, crying, talking, writing, and/or drawing.
Dysfunctional grieving may result from an inability to express
Encourage patient to keep a journal to express feelings of grief
and loss. The act of writing about feelings may aid in grieving
process. Help patient form goals for the future to place the loss in
perspective and to move on to new situations and relationships.
Manage: Refer patient to community support systems to assist with
grieving process. Contact patient’s preferred spiritual leader if
patient desires. This may provide relief from spiritual distress.
SUGGESTED NIC INTERVENTIONS
Coping Enhancement; Counseling; Emotional Support; Family Ther-
apy; Grief Facilitation Work
Pilkington, F. B. (2008, January). Expanding nursing perspectives on loss and
grieving. Nursing Science Quarterly, 21(1), 6–7.