What is good grief support? : Exploring the actors and actions in social support after traumatic grief

Social support seems to enhance wellbeing and health in many populations. Conversely, poor social support and loneliness are a social determinant of poor health outcomes and can adversely affect physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Social support is especially important in traumatic grief. However, the ways in which grieving individuals interpret and define social support is not well understood, and little is known about what specific behaviours are perceived as helpful.


Using qualitative description and content analysis, this study assessed bereaved individuals’ satisfaction of social support in traumatic grief, using four categories of social support as a framework. Findings suggest inadequate satisfaction from professional, familial, and community support. Pets emerged with the most satisfactory ratings. Further, findings suggest that emotional support is the most desired type of support following traumatic loss. Implications for supporting bereaved individuals within and beyond the context of the COVID-19 pandemic are discussed.

Joanne Cacciatore; Kara Thieleman; Ruth Fretts; Lori Barnes Jackson | 2021
In: PLoS ONE ; ISSN: 1932-620 | 16 | 5 | May | e0252324
Adults, Animal Assisted Therapy, Bereavement, COVID-19 (en), Emotional Regulation, Loss, Mental health, Positive Effects, Quality of Life, Research, Social Support, Traumatic Grief