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

409 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
Pages (from-to)e70-e76
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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