The effect of funeral practices on bereaved friends and relatives’ mental health and bereavement: implications for COVID-19
4 May 2020
This rapid evidence review explores the effect of funeral practices on friends’ and relatives’ mental health and bereavement.
Overview of findings
Those who are bereaved during the current COVID-19 pandemic are subject to restrictions on funeral sizes and the possible ways of memorialising and celebrating the lives of family members and friends. Based on the current evidence, the likely impact of these restrictions on mental health and bereavement is unknown.
Evidence regarding a relationship between mental health or bereavement outcomes and funeral attendance or participation is inconclusive. There have been no systematic reviews in this area. We identified 11 relevant observational studies of low to moderate quality and with inconsistent findings (eight from the USA, one each from the Netherlands, Australia and Rwanda).
Research is needed to better understand the experiences and consequences of grief and bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic.