INVESTIGATING HOW THE UNEXPECTEDNESS OF A DEATH AFFECTS THE SEVERITY OF GRIEF: A SCOPING REVIEW
AuthorHiggins, Cassandra Leigh
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThere is a knowledge gap in grief literature regarding unexpectedness (the perception of unpreparedness for the death of a loved one) being predictive of higher grief severity during bereavement. Many studies that researched grief severity during the COVID-19 pandemic included or found the factor of unexpectedness to be significant. The aims of this scoping review are to discover if the findings of the published literature can conclude that unexpectedness is predictive of higher levels of grief, and if it is a significant factor related to greater bereavement distress from the loss of a loved one due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the databases PubMed and PsycInfo, sources were collected and screened for their eligibility to be included in this study. The findings of each study were then extracted based on their relevance, organized, then synthesized. The synthesis of findings can conclude that the unexpectedness of a death is predictive of acute grief and a risk factor for prolonged grief, and that it is a significant factor associated with greater bereavement distress during a pandemic. Experiencing what is perceived to be an unexpected death can predict more severe grief experiences.