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Table 1 Studies providing data about medical students’ coping strategies following patient death

From: Learning and coping through reflection: exploring patient death experiences of medical students

Authors (year)CountryNumber of participantsStudy methodCoping strategies identified
Firth-Cozen et al. [19]UK264Questionnaire- Rationalized/ accepted (23.6%)
- Carried on with patient care (22.5%)
- Talked to others (21.7%)
- Dismissed the episode (13.3%)
Ratanawongsa et al. [5]USA32InterviewVerbal: discussing the experiences with family, non-medical and medical friends.
Non-verbal: exercise, writing, music therapy, and prayer.
Rhodes-Kropf et al. [7]Canada38Quantitative questionnaire and interviewVerbal: Talked to others (76%), talked to other students (44%) and talked to their [own] significant others (27%)
Non-verbal: movies and reading (12%), focused on work and study (12%) and prayed (12%).
Kelly et al. [2]Canada29Interview, focus group, or written questionnaire in a narrative format- Contemplated their life value
- Rationalized
- Turned the event into a learning experience. For example, learned how the pulmonary embolus was diagnosed.
Jones et al. [8]UK131Qualitative questionnaireOn UK clinical attachments
- Talked to family and friends (50%)
- Talked to doctors (26%)
- Talked to nurses (8%)
On electives
- Talked to family and friends > local people they were working with
Pessagno et al. [3]USA20Interview- Talked to others: family and friends and senior medical team members such as residents
- Carried on with work
- Accepted and dealt with negative emotions
- Participated in rituals after death
- Cried
- Turned to religion
Smith-Han et al. [9]New Zealand53Interview- Discussed cases with colleagues and friends
- Turned to something else such as exercise, a hobby or a drink