Public asked to take part in national research project into bereavement

The death of a family member or friend is never easy, with a grieving process that can take many forms and can last for months, if not years.

Bereavement has, like everything, been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re part of a nationwide research project exploring how COVID-19 has effected grieving friends and relatives, from visiting restrictions to not being able to see friends socially to talk about their loss.

Donna Wakefield, consultant in palliative medicine at the Trust, is a member of the research team, headed by Cardiff University and the University of Bristol.

Donna said: “I have recently talked to relatives who have described factors which have had an impact on them, including infection control measures sometimes leading to reduced access to visiting their relative in hospital or care home and physical barriers such as the need to wear gloves and masks.

“Social restrictions after death have led to people not being together with their usual network of family and friends for support and even professional advice has at times been limited

“Although we’re hearing these stories anecdotally, there are still many unanswered questions.

“The national study is to give a voice to anyone who has been bereaved during the pandemic, due to any cause of death, to learn more of their experiences during and after the bereavement.

“We know this won’t be easy. Asking people to go on line and complete a survey about their views and experiences is going to be a very difficult experience.

“I want everyone who takes part in the research to know their details will remain confidential and their views will help improve bereavement support throughout the country.

“I’d like to thank everyone who takes part in the survey in advance for their bravery in talking about such a personal issue.”

To take part in the survey, which comes to a close in December 2020, visit: www.covidbereavement.com.

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