Effectiveness of brief contact interventions for bereavement: A systematic review

Katie McGill, Navjot Bhullar, Tania Pearce, Philip J. Batterham, Sarah Wayland, Myfanwy Maple

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Brief contact interventions are an efficient and cost-effective way of providing support to individuals. Whether they are an effective bereavement intervention is not clear. This systematic review included articles from 2014 to 2021.711 studies were identified, with 15 meeting inclusion criteria. The brief contact interventions included informational and emotional supports. Narrative synthesis identified that participants valued brief contact interventions, however some did not find them helpful. Exposure to a brief contact intervention was typically associated with improvements in wellbeing. Studies with comparison groups typically found significant but modest improvements in grief, depression symptoms and wellbeing associated with the intervention. However, one intervention was associated with significant deterioration of depression symptoms. Existing brief contact interventions for bereavement appear feasible, generally acceptable to the target population and are associated with improvements in wellbeing. Further development and evaluation to account for why improvements occur, and to identify any unintended impacts, is required.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalOmega (United States)
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2022


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