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Improved grief and symptoms of depression in bereaved siblings: promising findings from an online intervention
  1. Karl Andriessen
  1. Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karl Andriessen, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia; karl.andriessen{at}

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Commentary on: Wagner B, Hofmann L, Maaß U. A therapist-supported internet-based intervention for bereaved siblings: a randomized controlled trial. Palliat Med. 2022 Dec;36(10):1532–1543. doi: 10.1177/02692163221122344. Epub 2022 Oct 20.

Implications for practice and research

  • An online 6-weeks 12-session CBT-based writing intervention can improve grief and depression in bereaved siblings up to 1 year postintervention.

  • Further research may examine the potentially effective components and the effectiveness of the intervention in populations such as males and people bereaved by suicide.


Bereaved siblings have an increased risk of developing long-term health-related problems after loss. A population-wide study revealed higher risks of depression, substance use and a twofold risk of attempted suicide compared to non-bereaved siblings.1 Other research reported a 71% increase of all-cause mortality during a 37-year follow-up period.2 The risk was two-fold when the siblings died by the same cause.2 Nonetheless, few interventions are …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.