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A terminally ill client with a grave prognosis will soon be removed from life support. The nurse caring for the client notes that the family is beginning to distance themselves from the client. The nurse concludes the family is experiencing:

1. Dysfunctional grief.
2. Disenfranchised grief.
3. Anticipatory grief.
4. Inhibited grief.


Option 3 is correct. Anticipatory grief is anxiety and sorrow experienced prior to an expected loss or death. The family members of a chronically or terminally ill client may anticipate the loss of a loved one before her or his death because of the prognosis or severity of the person’s illness. The family is beginning to "pull away" or distance themselves from the grief and sorrow of the expected death of the client. Option 1 is incorrect as dysfunctional grief is unresolved that does not lead to a successful conclusion. Option 2 is incorrect because disenfranchised grief is a response to a loss or death in which the individual is not regarded as having the right to grieve or is unable to acknowledge the loss to other persons. Option 3 is incorrect as inhibited grief is a suppressed response, which may be expressed in other ways, such as somatic complaints (e.g., having physically symptoms on the anniversary of a loss or during holidays). Recognize that individuals often believe that anticipatory grieving will ease the pain of their loss once the death occurs. In actuality, the knowing, preparing for and, anticipating the dying of a loved one does not necessarily make the actual death any easier for the bereaved.


Member since: April 2011
(Boynton Beach,FL) Original question source

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Topics: Mental Health, Nursing Process: Assessment

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