Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

SAGE Palliative Medicine & Chronic Care

Aug 23, 2022

This episode features Dr James Downar (University of Ottawa, Canada).

Early studies in the COVID-19 pandemic have suggested a high prevalence of severe grief symptoms, although most have used convenience or survey sampling methods which may bias the results, and most have assessed symptoms before pathological grief can be diagnosed (<6 months).

Little is known about how the burden of severe grief during the pandemic compares with pre-pandemic times, and whether the cause of death during the pandemic affects the grief experience.

This prospective, matched cohort study shows that almost 30% of bereaved family members experience severe grief during the pandemic. This prevalence is higher than reported pre-pandemic rates (2%–3%), and that the prevalence was not affected by the cause or the circumstances around the death.

There is an elevated risk of severe grief among family members of people who experience bereavement during the pandemic period, even if their family member died before the pandemic itself.

The severity of grief may not be affected by factors that normally mitigate severity of grief, such as being present at the time of death.

There is an urgent need for resources to identify and support people who lose loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full paper available from:
If you would like to record a podcast about your published (or accepted) Palliative Medicine paper, please contact Dr Amara Nwosu: