Preloss grief in family members of COVID-19 patients: Recommendations for clinicians and researchers

Psychol Trauma. 2020 Aug;12(S1):S90-S93. doi: 10.1037/tra0000876. Epub 2020 Jun 1.


Researchers have long examined grief-related reactions to the diagnosis of a loved one with a terminal illness, including preloss grief (PLG), which is the experience of grief symptoms prior to the loss of a loved one. Families face novel challenges when loved ones with COVID-19 become critically ill-most notably mandated physical separation-and may experience a wide range of PLG responses. This commentary examines the existing literature related to PLG as a means for understanding the psychological impact of COVID-19 deaths, identifies factors professionals can assess for and address when working with a family member of COVID-19 patients, and identifies areas for future research related to COVID-19 and PLG. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Grief*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / psychology*
  • Research Personnel
  • Social Support*