The stages, popularly known by the acronym DABDA, is a series of emotional stages experienced when faced with impending death or death of someone.
The model was first introduced by American Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, and was inspired by her work with terminally ill patients. Motivated by the lack of curriculum in medical schools on the subject of death and dying, Kubler-Ross began a project which examined death and those faced with it while working as an instructor at the University of Chicago's medical school. Kubler-Ross' project evolved into a series of seminars which, along with patient interviews and previous research, became the foundation for her book, and revolutionized how the U.S. medical field takes care of the terminally ill. In the decades since the publication of "On Death and Dying", the Kubler-Ross concept has become largely accepted by the general public; however, its validity has yet to be consistently supported by the majority of research studies that have examined it.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross noted that the stages are not meant to be a complete list of all possible emotions that could be felt, and they can occur in any order. Her hypothesis holds that not everyone who experiences a life-threatening or life-altering event feels all five of the responses, due to reactions of personal losses differing between people.