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Effect of grief on ageing populations’ physical and mental well-being
  1. Margaret Dunham
  1. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Margaret Dunham, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK; m.dunham{at}

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Commentary on: Aoyama M, Sakaguchi Y, Fujisawa D, et al. Insomnia and changes in alcohol consumption: Relation between possible complicated grief and depression among bereaved family caregivers. Journal of Affective Disorders 2020;275:1-6. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2020.06.023.

Implications for practice and research

  • Bereaved relatives are at greater risk of physical and psychological disorders and this should be considered as part of bereavement care and health assessment.

  • Longitudinal cohort data about the bereaved health status, across cultures and age groups, could inform better bereavement care and support.


Bereavement is distressing; the effects of grief, including distress and associated insomnia, are known.1 Complex grief2 is characterised by its severity and duration, it can limit normal activity and function. Alcohol consumption and insomnia are both known to be potentially damaging to mental and physical well-being.3 …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.