Anaesthetists' attitudes towards attending the funerals of their patients: A cross-sectional study among Australian and New Zealand anaesthetists
AuthorKim, K; Churilov, L; Tan, CO; Phan, T; Geertsema, J; Krieser, R; Mehra, R; Stewart, PA; Rachbuch, C; Huang, A; ...
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sWeinberg, Laurence; Churilov, Leonid; Huang, Andrew; Phan, Tuong; KIM, KWANGTAEK; Tan, Chong
AffiliationMedicine (Austin & Northern Health)
Surgery (Austin & Northern Health)
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsKim, K., Churilov, L., Tan, C. O., Phan, T., Geertsema, J., Krieser, R., Mehra, R., Stewart, P. A., Rachbuch, C., Huang, A. & Weinberg, L. (2020). Anaesthetists' attitudes towards attending the funerals of their patients: A cross-sectional study among Australian and New Zealand anaesthetists. PLOS ONE, 15 (11), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0239996.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7643987
A patient's death can pose significant stress on the family and the treating anaesthetist. Anaesthetists' attitudes about the benefits of and barriers to attending a patient's funeral are unknown. Therefore, we performed a prospective, cross-sectional study to ascertain the frequency of anaesthetists' attendance at a patient's funeral and their perceptions about the benefits and barriers. The primary aim was to investigate the attitudes of anaesthetists towards attending the funeral of a patient. The secondary aims were to examine the perceived benefits of and barriers to attending the funeral and to explore the rate of bonds being formed between anaesthetists, patients and families. Of the 424 anaesthetists who completed the survey (response rate 21.2%), 25 (5.9%) had attended a patient's funeral. Of the participants, 364 (85.9%) rarely formed special bonds with patients or their families; 233 (55%) believed that forming a special bond would increase the likelihood of their attendance. Showing respect to patients or their families was the most commonly perceived benefit of attending a funeral. Participants found expression of personal grief and caring for the patient at the end-of-life and beyond beneficial to themselves and the family. Fear of their attendance being misinterpreted or perceived as not warranted by the family as well as time restraints were barriers for their attendance. Most anaesthetists had never attended a patient's funeral. Few anaesthetists form close relationships with patients or their families. Respect, expression of grief and caring beyond life were perceived benefits of attendance. Families misinterpreting the purpose of attendance or not expecting their attendance and time restraints were commonly perceived barriers. Trial registration: ACTRN 12618000503224.
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