Grief During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Considerations for Palliative Care Providers

Cara L. Wallace, Stephanie P. Wladkowski, Allison Gibson, Patrick White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic is anticipated to continue spreading widely across the globe throughout 2020. To mitigate the devastating impact of COVID-19, social distancing and visitor restrictions in health care facilities have been widely implemented. Such policies and practices, along with the direct impact of the spread of COVID-19, complicate issues of grief that are relevant to medical providers. We describe the relationship of the COVID-19 pandemic to anticipatory grief, disenfranchised grief, and complicated grief for individuals, families, and their providers. Furthermore, we provide discussion regarding countering this grief through communication, advance care planning, and self-care practices. We provide resources for health care providers, in addition to calling on palliative care providers to consider their own role as a resource to other specialties during this public health emergency.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • advance care planning
  • communication
  • COVID-19
  • end of life
  • Grief
  • loss
  • self-care

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