Supportive Care

Educating Oncology Staff About the Practice of Writing Condolence Cards

Kelly Preti

Elizabeth Giles

Mary Elizabeth Davis

bereavement, condolence cards, grief, end-of-life care, evidence-based practice
CJON 2023, 27(6), 583-588. DOI: 10.1188/23.CJON.583-588

This evidence-based practice project educated staff about the practice of writing condolence cards to bereaved family members of deceased adult patients in the oncologic setting. In addition, staff were provided with the appropriate resources to incorporate this practice into their workflow. Staff were surveyed before and after completing an educational module to identify their perceived preparedness and access to resources. Staff were also surveyed six months postimplementation to identify the impact of the practice of writing condolence cards to support the grieving process on staff members and bereaved family members.


  • Bereavement practices, particularly condolence cards, can support not only family members of deceased patients but also healthcare providers during the grieving process.
  • Although bereavement practices are recognized as an essential component of end-of-life care, many healthcare staff report feeling unprepared because of a lack of education and training.
  • Condolence cards should be individualized for each patient and include staff members who had a relationship with the patient.
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