Several interventions have been implemented to address the adverse psychological and physical consequences associated with bereavement. In this review, we summarize four major theories of bereavement, present a qualitative review of bereavement intervention studies, and assess the overall effectiveness of bereavement intervention studies in a quantitative meta-analysis. Summaries of the theories are drawn from published theoretical works. The qualitative and quantitative reviews were based on searches of Medline, PsychINFO, and Dissertation Abstracts International databases using the keywords 'bereaved' and 'bereavement.' Overall, the interventions were largely methodologically flawed, rarely specified what theory of bereavement they were testing, and showed surprisingly weak effect sizes. Possible interpretations for the small effect sizes are discussed, and future directions are outlined.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported in part by a National Research Service Award from the Public Health Service. The authors would like to acknowledge Alan E. Kazdin, Ingram Olkin, and John Pinto for their helpful comments on earlier drafts.