Support for adults bereaved through COVID-19 (search done on 7 April 2020)

Added July 20, 2020

Citation: Mayland CR, Harding AJE, Preston N, et al. Supporting adults bereaved through COVID-19: a rapid review of the impact of previous pandemics on grief and bereavement. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2020 Aug;60(2):e33-e39.

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated measures are affecting the individual and societal experience of dying, death and bereavement.

In this rapid review, the authors searched for reports on the impact on grief and bereavement during other outbreaks of infectious diseases. They restricted their searches to articles published in English and did the search on 7 April 2020. They included 4 qualitative studies, 1 observational study and 1 systematic review, which tended to focus on survivors of the illness. They did not find any research studies that had focused on outcomes and support for bereaved people during a pandemic. Studies have

What was found: At the time of this review, the included studies showed that previous pandemics appeared to have multiple negative impacts both directly related to death itself and due to disruption to social norms, rituals and mourning practices.

The authors recommend promoting the connection with the deceased both before and after the death by adapting rituals and mourning practices, and planning for coordinated post-bereavement support.


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