Background Grief is a natural process, in which many people will cope with help from their friends and family. However, many people will need professional help (Aoun, Breen, Howting, et al. PloS one. 2015;10(3):e0121101). Good bereavement care is important to ensure that people get the support they need when they are grieving (Pattison, White, Lone. J Intensive Care Soc. 2020; 1751143720928898). Digital tools can potentially provide support for bereaved people, however, this has not been extensively studied. In computer systems design, ‘use-cases’ describe individual event steps a user needs to navigate to complete an action or goal on a digital system (Clausen, Apel, Dorchain, et al. Energy Inform. 2018; 1(1):273–283). Well-designed use-cases can improve the efficacy and effectiveness of the developed system (Cockburn. Writing effective use cases. 2001). Use-cases for digital bereavement support have not been established, therefore, there is potential that their use could facilitate development of digital bereavement services.
Aims We aim to develop ‘use-cases’ to describe the ‘event steps’ needed to design a digital service to provide three tiers of bereavement support, based on recommendations of the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Methods We will review national UK relevant policy on palliative care bereavement services, and we will conduct semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, to inform the development of infographic ‘use-cases’, which will support future development of digital bereavement services.
Results In the short term, this work will inform how palliative care services can best use existing digital systems to support bereavement care. In the medium to long term, this work will support the development, and evaluation, of new digital models of care, which will provide support for bereaved people.
Conclusion This study will lead to the development of digital bereavement services. Future studies can utilise the ‘use case’ method to improve the evidence base for digital health studies in palliative care.
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