Pre-loss grief can be experienced by relatives before impending death; however, limited understanding exists about the impact of pre-loss grief on bereavement. This systematic review aimed to synthesize qualitative research evidence reporting adults’ experiences of pre-loss grief within cancer care. Thirteen studies were selected, and three key themes identified. Findings indicate that relatives transitioned through lived experiences during end-stage cancer, and that meanings attached to these experiences influenced how they experienced pre-loss grief. Limited formal support was identified to navigate these experiences; however, context was seen as important, and skilled healthcare practitioners and physical environment were key to facilitating preparedness.
A small grant was received from Cruse Bereavement Care and Macmillan Cancer Support, Northern Ireland, in support of this research.
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- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology