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The forgotten people in British public health: a national neglect of the dying, bereaved and caregivers
  1. Aliki Karapliagou1 and
  2. Allan Kellehear2
  1. 1Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  2. 2Faculty of Health Studies, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Allan Kellehear, Faculty of Health Studies, University of Bradford, Bradford BD7 1DP, UK; a.kellehear{at}


The clinical and social epidemiology of living with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness, frail ageing, long-term caregiving, and grief and bereavement is well documented in the palliative care, psycho-oncology and psychiatric literature but this investigation asks what interest exists from the mainstream public health sector in these health and illness experiences. This paper reports a content analysis of 7 key British public health journals, 14 major public health textbooks and 3 public health websites employing key word and synonym searches to assess the size and quality of interest in populations related to ageing, dying, caregiving, and grief and bereavement. Compared with other public health issues, such as obesity and tobacco use, for examples, interest in the social experience and epidemiology of end-of-life experiences is extremely low. Reasons for this lack of interest are explored.

  • Supportive care
  • Social care
  • Psychological care

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