Cardiovascular risk reduction during bereavement (CARBER II) study

Summary

The death of a loved one is recognised as one of life's greatest stresses requiring significant psychological adjustment. While death is a natural part of the life process and is a universal experience, the effect of the loss of a spouse, partner or child can be traumatic for the surviving loved one and can increase the risk of heart problems. Some call this "the broken heart". Our previous research has shown that temporary changes in stress hormones, immune function, clotting, heart rate and blood pressure occur in the early weeks of bereavement. These biological responses during bereavement, although all a common response to stress, have been associated with increased risk of heart disease. They also may be amenable to treatment to lower heart risk. The purpose of this study is to test whether it is possible to reduce cardiovascular risk in the early weeks of bereavement.

Supervisor(s)

Dr Tom Buckley

Research Location

Sydney Nursing School

Program Type

Masters/PHD

Synopsis

The death of a loved one is recognised as one of life's greatest stresses requiring significant psychological adjustment. While death is a natural part of the life process and is a universal experience, the effect of the loss of a spouse, partner or child can be traumatic for the surviving loved one and can increase the risk of heart problems. Some call this "the broken heart". Our previous research has shown that temporary changes in stress hormones, immune function, clotting, heart rate and blood pressure occur in the early weeks of bereavement. These biological responses during bereavement, although all a common response to stress, have been associated with increased risk of heart disease. They also may be amenable to treatment to lower heart risk. The purpose of this study is to test whether it is possible to reduce cardiovascular risk in the early weeks of bereavement.

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Keywords

stress, bereavement, cardiovascular, acute myocardial infarction, heart rate, coagulation, Randomised Controlled Trial, psychological stress, depression, anxiety, Blood pressure, Nursing

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1175

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