A New Text-Based Approach to Delivering Quality Bereavement Care (Conference Presentation)

Lunardini, M

2023 CDAS Conference: Innovation at the End of Life
3 May 2023

Hospice providers have been calling for innovative approaches to meet the demands for bereavement services. This presentation will report on grievers’ perceptions of the acceptability and helpfulness of Help Texts, an innovative, ongoing, expert, text-based grief support service aligned with a public health approach to bereavement care. The messages, grounded in contemporary models of grief and coping, provide support, information, and encourage engagement in adaptive coping behaviors. Participants in the evaluation were bereaved family members who received Help Texts as a hospice benefit. Based on program administrative data, the 13-month program retention rate was 86%. Among subscribers who met inclusion criteria for and completed a brief evaluation (N=100, response rate = 65%), 73% rated the program as “Very helpful” and 74% rated it as contributing “A great deal” or “Considerably” to their sense of being supported in their grief. Older grievers (age 65+ years old) and males tended to give the highest ratings. In their written feedback, most respondents expressed their appreciation for the program (e.g., “Thanks for being there”) or listed something they liked or found helpful (e.g., “I don't feel as though I'm losing my mind anymore”). These preliminary data suggest that bereaved hospice family members find Help Texts to be acceptable and helpful as a bereavement support option.