Reactions of mental health professionals to the death of clients from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) [electronic resource] /
Reactions of Mental Health Professionals To the Death
of Clients From Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Joseph Robert Kachik Jr.
This study examined the reactions of mental health professionals to acquired
immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related bereavement. Ninety-six mental health
professionals from across the United States (e.g., counselors, social workers, and
psychologists) completed questionnaires concerning the loss of a client to AIDS.
Measures included the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief, Impact of Event Scale-
Revised, Brief Symptom Inventory, and Satisfaction with Life Scale. There were no
significant relations between client deaths (number and recency) and indices of grief,
trauma, psychological distress, or satisfaction with life. Symptoms of distress did
not increase with number of deaths or in relation to recency of a client’s death.
Subsequent analyses revealed a significant relation between an avoidant response
and many client deaths (11 to 500 deaths), and between recency of a client’s death
(greater than four months) and a reported greater satisfaction with life. Participants
reporting a traumatic stress response (high IES-R scores) showed significantly higher
grief (past and present) scores and GSI score on the BSI. An “HIV/AIDS traumaticgrief
syndrome” was posited for some mental health professionals who lose clients to
School:West Virginia University
School Location:USA - West Virginia
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:aids disease mental health personnel and patient death bereavement
Date of Publication: