Theory of Chronic Sorrow and Nursing Application

1200 WordsApr 23, 20195 Pages
Theory of Chronic Sorrow and Nursing Application The theory of chronic sorrow is a middle range nursing theory explored largely by Georgene Gaskill Eakes, Mary Lermnann Burke and Maragret A. Hainsworth. The theory provides framework for understanding and working with individuals who have experienced a significant loss of a loved one. As stated by Eakes et al. (1998, p. 179), Chronic sorrow is described as “…the periodic recurrence of permanent, pervasive sadness or other grief related feelings associated with a significant loss.” As nurses, it is vitally important to understand and be aware of the high potential for chronic sorrow to occur when treating patients across the life span with chronic and traumatic conditions. Chronic…show more content…
Hobdell (1996) interview a mother of a two year old with a neural tube defect about chronic sorrow in which she states “If you were to ask me these questions in about a year and he was not toilet-trained, I would respond very differently.” The statement provided by the mother supports the notion of parents feeling grief over a child’s lack of achieving developmental milestones. Parents may feel psychological emotions such as frustration and helplessness in relationship to burden of care and developmental delays. It is imperative as nurses to educate families and provide the tools necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for both the patient and the caregiver(s). A supporting study by Austin and McDermott (1988) shows a positive relationship between factors such as the ability to maintain family integration, optimistic definition of the circumstances, social support, self-esteem, and psychological stability. Maintaining a positive relationship within these components in this authors viewpoint, can aid in effectively managing the affects of chronic sorrow. Isaksson, Ann-Krisitin, Ahlstrom, and Gerd (2208) study describes the ways in which patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) display and manage chronic sorrow. Persons with multiple sclerosis, often having feelings of sorrow and fear due to losses associated with the disease (Isaksson, Ann-Kristin, Ahlstrom, & Gerd, 2008) Patients with chronic

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