Category Archives: Counselling

Coronial counselling, bereavement, grief, complicated grief particularly in regard with violent/unexpected deaths.
This category relates to coronial counsellors who work with families including children whose loved ones have had autopsy. This category may also deal with the counselling families / individuals and requests for tissue donation from the autopsy.

Sudden cardiac death of young people can cause PTSD in family members, study finds

ABC News Joanna Woodburn 29 January 2016

Sudden cardiac death among young people has the potential to cause post traumatic stress in their family members, a world-first study has found.
A team from the University of Sydney and the Centenary Institute has been examining the psychological impacts that genetic heart disease has on victims’ parents and siblings.
The study found one in two family members experienced prolonged grief and post traumatic stress.

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Interactions between health care personnel and parents approached for organ and/or tissue donation: influences on parents’ adjustment to loss.

Prog Transplant. 2015 Jun;25(2):124-30. doi: 10.7182/pit2015145.


The effect of loss on those approached for organ and/or tissue donation, particularly in the years thereafter, has received little attention.


To assess whether adjustment of a parent to loss of a child is influenced by interactions with health care personnel.


A self-administered questionnaire was completed by the parents of 216 decedents. Interactions in the hospital were assessed by examining the experience in the hospital, physical separation from the child, and the relationship with health care professionals. Adjustment to loss was defined by 4 components: grief, personal growth after loss, meaning of life after loss, and the meaning of organ donation.


A positive experience in the hospital was significantly associated with the meaning of donation. Increased satisfaction with the separation process was associated with better adjustment on all components. Finally, a better relationship with health care professionals was associated with less grief and with greater personal growth. These results were characterized after adjustment for time since loss, which was from 6 months to 27 years.


Interactions in the hospital appear to influence adjustment to loss significantly. Appropriate interventions may aid parents in their adjustment to life.

Request a copy of the article (QH Staff only)

Linking Google Scholar to Qld Health Ejournals

A slide presentation showing how easy it is to link to CKN journals from Google Scholar.

Source: Linking Google Scholar to Qld Health Ejournals  (NOTE: view this using Firefox rather than Internet Explorer)

Introduction to CKN Resources – Training Webinar

Tuesday 15 September 3:30 pm

This 45 minute session will get you started with researching using CKN resources. We’ll cover how to search effectively across multiple resources with a single search; find evidence-based information; locate individual journals; and utilise specific resources suitable for your area of interest. We’ll also cover setting up alerts to monitor the latest research; and mobile access via your phone or tablet.

Click here to register


You’ll need to sign-on to attend before the training commences by following the on-screen instructions. Once you have registered, the session information will be emailed to you from WebEx via a ‘meeting invitation’. You will need the information in this email to join the session. Please join the session 10-15 minutes before the start time.

Before you attend the session, we suggest you test that your computer is ‘capable’ of joining a WebEx meeting by going to this webpage and joining the test meeting:

  • If WebEx Meeting Centre or ActiveX need to be installed on your computer, you may need ‘Administrator Rights’ to do this – so we suggest you test this well in advance of the session.
  • For the session, you will need a computer with an internet connection, and either a headset (with earphones and a microphone) OR a telephone to dial in for the audio.
  • If you have a slow/unreliable internet connection, we recommend that you dial in using a telephone to avoid problems with audio. Follow the instructions once you register.
  • If you have technical difficulties with WebEx, please call the toll free technical support number on 1800 129 278 (toll-free) or +61 2 8223 9710.

The real CSI

ABC News Margaret Burin 16 August 2015

Australia’s real-life crime scene investigators say their jobs are not always as sexy as they look on TV.   Every night prime-time television is filled with crime-scene investigation dramas centred on detectives solving complex cases. But how real is what we see on TV?  Meet some of Australia’s real-life CSI professionals, from those who examine blood spatter to those who clean it up.

Features the work of Victoria Police experts and VIFM scientists and pathologists

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Peritraumatic distress and dissociation in prolonged grief and post-traumatic stress following violent and unexpected deaths

Journal of Trauma & Dissociation Online 09 Jul 2015;  DOI: 10.1080/15299732.2015.1027841

This study examined associations between the violence of a loss and the suddenness of a loss and symptom-levels of Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after the death of a loved-one. A further aim was to investigate if peritraumatic distress (i.e., fear, helplessness, and horror) and peritraumatic dissociation mediate the emotional impact of violent losses and unexpected losses. We obtained self-reported data from 265 individuals, bereaved in the previous three years by losses due to violent causes (17%) or illness (83%). Outcomes showed that participants who experienced violent losses (due to homicide, suicide, or accident) reported more PGD-symptoms and PTSD-symptoms compared to those confronted with illness-loss. In this latter group, greater perceived unexpectedness was positively associated with PGD-severity and PTSD-severity. Multiple mediation analyses showed that the impact of violent loss and unexpectedness of the loss on PGD-severity and PTSD-severity was fully mediated by peritraumatic distress and dissociation; peritraumatic helplessness and peritraumatic dissociation (but not peritraumatic fear and horror) emerged as unique mediators. Findings suggest that both violent and unexpected losses exacerbate post-loss psychopathology which is at least partially due to such losses yielding more intense acute helplessness and dissociative responses.

Request a copy of the article (QH Staff only)

Organ donation: Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine staff take novel approach to raise awareness

ABC News Karen Percy 9 August 2015

Staff at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) have taken a novel approach to raising awareness for organ and tissue donation.

They have taken part in The Rest Is Silence, a short play based on the real-life discussions held every day by forensic and medical staff about organ and tissue donation.

The Institute hosted four performances on Saturday as part of this week’s Donate Life campaign, to raise awareness of tissue donation, something many Australian donors do not understand well.

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