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Nursing issues
Timely psychological interventions can ameliorate symptoms of prolonged grief
  1. Sally Chan
  1. University of Newcastle (Singapore), University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sally Chan, University of Newcastle (Singapore Campus), University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia; Sally.Chan{at}

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Commentary on: Johannsen M, Damholdt MF, Zachariae R, et al. Psychological interventions for grief in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. J Affect Disord 2019;253:69–86. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.04.065

Implications for practice and research

  • Psychological interventions have the potential to reduce grief symptoms. It could be most efficacious to bereaved adults if offered at a minimum 6 months postloss.

  • Future studies could focus on how psychological intervention works on grief and its effects on older bereaved adults with longer follow-up assessment period.


Grief is a normal response to the death of a loved one. Most people could adapt to such loss over time. However, some bereaved individuals have persistent grief symptoms. Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) was a new diagnosis in the International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision (ICD-11).1 Prolonged grief (PG) is associated with functional impairment, psychological …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.