The preparedness of emergency care providers to deal with death, dying and bereavement in the pre-hospital setting in Dubai


prehospital emergency care

How to Cite

Conning R, Naidoo R, Bhagwan R. The preparedness of emergency care providers to deal with death, dying and bereavement in the pre-hospital setting in Dubai . Australasian Journal of Paramedicine [Internet]. 2021Sep.2 [cited 2021Sep.22];18. Available from:



This study sought to investigate how prepared emergency care providers are to deal with death, dying and bereavement in the pre-hospital setting in Dubai, and to make recommendations related to such events.


A quantitative descriptive prospective design was utilised. Data was collected using an online self-report questionnaire sent to all operational emergency care providers in the Dubai Corporation of Ambulance Services. The data was analysed using the IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 25.0.


Nearly 65% of participants (n=316) reported that they had not received any formal education or training on death, dying and bereavement. Those that did, reported that the training was conducted mainly by nursing (25.9%; n=124) and paramedic (13.6%; n=65) instructors. One-quarter of participants (25.4%; n=126) reported experiencing intrusive symptoms such as sleep loss, nightmares and missing work as a result of a work-related death or dying incident, but only 4.1% (n=20) had received professional counselling.


This study found that emergency care providers are underprepared to deal with death, dying and bereavement. A comprehensive death education program encompassing the unique challenges that emergency and pre-hospital setting presents should be implemented to reduce emotional anxiety and help emergency care providers cope better with death, and decrease abnormal grief reactions of the bereft. Abnormal grief reactions can include restlessness, searching for the lost person and disrupted autonomic nervous system functions.


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