An Evaluation of a Bereavement Program in a US Research Hospital

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The Bereavement Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center was established in 2005. The program makes contact with the next of kin on 4 occasions postnotification of death. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate program effectiveness for those individuals who we successfully made contact with on all 4 occasions (N = 39). At 12 months postnotification, the majority viewed the NIH as a source of support (56%), and the frequency of positive emotional ratings increased (59%). There are limitations to this analysis, and biases may be present. In sum, this analysis serves as an example of a successful hospital-based bereavement program that enrolls patients who have been treated at the institution in any capacity who are also patients enrolled in institutional review board-approved research protocols.

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