General Practitioners


General practitioners (GPs) are well-known to provide support to those in bereavement or grief. Most of the General Practitioners view the advantages of grief care as an important aspect for condolence of someone’s grief and General Practitioners are those professionals of health towards which people are supposed to turning when they are in need of a support. In this article, we are going to understand the GP’s methods for bereavement care and about the education and development they are in need of for providing care in grief.


By the help of social constructionist approach an in-depth qualitative design was utilized to explore the aims and thoughts of a person. A group of 19 General Practitioners including 12 women and 7 men, citizens of Western Australia were called for an interview, 14 of them belonged to metropolitan Perth and 5 of them were from rural areas. These General Practitioners were invited through a letter to participate in a sort of semi-structured interview. The interview were taken at workplaces of GP and for those living in rural areas the interviews were carried out via telephone where all the interviews were recorded. The experience of the practitioners ranged from 2 years to 32 years out of which majority was having an experience of over 15 years. The contact details about all General Practitioners was adopted by help of a Yellow page – which were lists of contacts and addresses to provide services in an area.


Each General Practitioner gave a semi-structured interview individually. The one who was interviewing was trained and was well experienced about sensitive interviewing. The interview guide comprises of the series of topics like GP’s education and training regarding tackling in grief, ability to understand one’s grief experiences, information regarding from where they have received information about grief, what they think is the best practice to treat grief, their solutions about how bereavement care can be improved and the factors they think would facilitate in tackling their grief. All the General Practitioners were demanded to provide examples regarding their experience with bereavement patients which justifies their ability. The meantime for the interview was 30 minutes, which ranges from 20 minutes to 45 minutes.


The analysis over these interviews was based upon continuous comparison and the comparison was started after end of each interview. The derived data from interviews revealed some opposing views regarding grief and bereavement care, those were :

  • Whether grief is standardised versus an individual process or not
  • Comparison between GP as a broker of services versus a service provider
  • Comparison between role of GP in interviewing versus promoting resilience
  • Comparison between need of formal education and professional development versus experiential learning while on-the-job


General Practitioners have a detracting role in finding out grief or distress. Changes are required to be made in GPs to make sure that they have an up-to date knowledge of contemporary theories and relative approaches. General Practitioners are urgently in need of both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees as well as professional development. Otherwise, GPs will continue relying on old theories which may result adversely in patient care.


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