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EONS-ESO: How to stay resilient and lead cancer services successfully

1105 - EONS session: Professional Grief in nurses exposed to patient deaths: the reality of a Portuguese Institute of Oncology.


20 Oct 2018


EONS-ESO: How to stay resilient and lead cancer services successfully


Birgitte Grube


Annals of Oncology (2018) 29 (suppl_8): viii689-viii693. 10.1093/annonc/mdy341


B. Grube

Author affiliations

  • Copenhagen/DK


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Abstract 1105


The loss by death is part of individual’s life and the grieving process rearranges the emotions and feelings behind it. At an early stage of the disease, the hope of cure and prolonged survival determines specific efforts and satisfactions, but when the end of life approaches, these cumulative losses have effects on professional practice and personal care, which are important to prevent, identify, assess and overcome. Objective: Characterize sociodemographic, professionally and personally oncology nurses; assess the intensity of professional grief; identify variables that affect the nurse’s professional grief; know the profile of attitudes towards death and coping strategies.


Quantitative, exploratory and descriptive-correlational; non-probabilistic accidental sample of 107 nurses working in 7 oncology inpatient services. Data collection: sociodemographic questionnaire, professional characterization and 3 scales: Overload Professional Grief; Revised Death Attitude Profile and Bugen’s Coping with Death. Data analysis: Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 22.


Nurses demonstrate professional grief score above medium values. General surgery nurses manifest overload professional grief in the "nostalgic loss", while palliative care nurses manifest higher values with significant differences in "emotional stress of caring" dimension. We noticed more overload professional grief in palliative care nurses and in nurses who don't suffer or have suffered from serious illness. We observed significant differences in “avoidance” dimension, between the group of nurses who have no training in palliative care and those with pre and post-graduate training in this area. Also, all nurses with higher levels of coping received training about grief.


Oncology nurses develop strategies from its practice to optimize their care, particularly in personnel management that makes the process of death and establishing the therapeutic relationship with the terminal patient and family, converting these factors to facilitate their grieving process. Arises the need to recognize the importance of nurse’s grief variable and to develop more studies.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Sara Margarida Rodrigues Gomes.


Has not received any funding.

Editorial Acknowledgement

There was no editorial assitence for the abstract.


The author has declared no conflicts of interest.

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