Social support in bereavement crisis--a study of interaction in crisis situations

Soc Work Health Care. 1997;25(1-2):117-30. doi: 10.1300/J010v25n01_12.


This article is based on a study of the interaction between relatives of patients who died in Coronary Care Units in Sweden and staff members of these units. The social support concept is used in a qualitative analysis of the narratives of bereaved spouses and adult children in order to learn about the nature of supportive interactions in such crisis situations. Specific needs for support and different patterns in mobilizing support are described as well as obstacles to the supportive process stemming from the nature of the crisis situation and problems in the interaction. The findings indicate reciprocal influences between the individual bereavement process and the interpersonal social support process. The author also suggests ways for medical social workers to use the findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bereavement*
  • Coronary Care Units
  • Crisis Intervention*
  • Defense Mechanisms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Social Support*
  • Social Work*
  • Sweden