Evidence Used to Support the Development of this Resource

Family support is key to managing bereavement, but most theories focus on individual experience. This resource draws on two exceptions which have been used to underpin the content of the site and provide an evidence-based approach to family support.

Family Sense of Coherence

The first theory is ‘Family Sense of Coherence’ which focuses on a family’s strengths and the development of resilience. We have previously applied the theory to support families caring for individuals at the end of their lives and this demonstrated its value in the context of bereavement.

When applied to bereavement, it is known that a family’s ability to cope with the death of a loved one is influenced by meaning, comprehensibility, and manageability.

The diagram below illustrates the theory further.

The Dual Process Model of Coping with Bereavement

The second theory that we have drawn on to provide an evidence-based approach to support is the family extension to the ‘Dual Process Model of Coping with Bereavement’. The authors describe family tasks influencing loss and restoration (change) orientated coping for family members and the oscillation (or constant fluctuation) that occurs between these tasks.

In the diagram below we have combined the Dual Process Model (in the boxes to the left and right) with the Family Sense of Coherence (in the centre). Together they illustrate the underpinning theory for family support that we have used throughout the resource.