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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


DAHDAH, Daniel Ferreira  and  JOAQUIM, Regina Helena Vitale Torkomian. Occupational Therapy in the bereavement process: A meta-synthesis. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2018, vol.48, n.3, pp.12-18. ISSN 2310-3833.

INTRODUCTION: Bereavement is a complex process characterised by a state of grief and suffering, which impacts the health and well-being of the bereaved, and extends to their occupational performance. Thus, occupation can be understood to be central in the expression of bereavement after the death of a loved one as it mediates identity formation, interpersonal relationships, a sense of belonging, and future perspectivesPURPOSE: To review English and Portuguese literature and identify how occupational therapists perceive and/or intervene in the bereavement processMETHOD: A meta-synthesis was conducted by database search and article analysisRESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Eight qualitative style articles were analysed. From these, three categories were derived from the content analysis: 1) Relationship between study participants and the deceased; 2) Occupational repercussions of bereavement; and 3) Occupation as a means to an end in the therapy process of the bereaved.CONCLUSIONS: Although the need for studies of the bereavement process and its implications for occupations is urgent, this study points out that occupations can be predictors of understanding the elaboration process through occupational engagement and that they also act as a potential resource to construct meaning about the death of the loved one

Keywords : Occupational therapy; bereavement; grief; mourning; attitude to death.

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