Nathan MacArthur

Postgraduate Research Student

Research Topic: Living after death: An exploration of the experiences of bereaved adults
Supervisors: Prof Alex BroomDr Emma Kirby
Co-Supervisor: Dr Jane Mowll

Nathan MacArthur gained a Master of Arts in Psychology (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh in 2003 and a Master of Arts in Social Work from the University of Manchester in 2006. He enrolled as a part-time PhD candidate at UNSW in September 2017. Nathan is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker currently employed as a Bereavement Service Counellor and Team Leader. He has worked in the area of oncology, palliative care and bereavement in hospitals and NGOs for the last 9 years.

Research Summary

Most people in Australia die in circumstances where death is anticipated and where family members are expected to have worked through some of the significant changes that accompany a loss before death occurs. The assumption that grief is easier when death is expected stands in contrast to research which documents the profound impacts of bereavement, regardless of the circumstances of death. This project will reveal the lived experiences of bereaved adults following an anticipated death, including experiences after deaths in hospital, at home and in residential aged care. Data will be collected from up to 50 family members using in-depth face to face interviews, video interviews and via written accounts. In addition, 5 focus groups with professionals and volunteers who support bereaved caregivers will be facilitated. Research findings will be used to improve understandings of bereavement to better inform the development of services or resources to meet bereavement care needs.


2010: Oral presentation at the Australia and New Zealand Childrens Haemotology/Oncology Group Conference: Oncology Parents Group - Worth the Effort?