Emotional functioning during bereavement after the death of patients with advanced cancer and associated factors.



Almost half of the bereaved relatives of patients with advanced cancer experienced low EF and this was associated with low EF pre-bereavement and low social support during bereavement. Support for relatives should be initiated before the patient's death. Future research is needed to investigate the impact of such support on relatives' wellbeing during bereavement.


A prospective, longitudinal, multicenter, observational study on quality of care and quality of life of patients with advanced cancer and their relatives was conducted (eQuiPe). The association between EF of relatives during bereavement and the following factors was investigated: gender, type of relationship, educational level, pre-bereavement emotional and social functioning and global quality of life, social support pre- and during bereavement, anticipatory complicated grief, support of healthcare professionals during bereavement, age of patient and bereaved relative and duration of survival after primary cancer diagnosis.


The death of a loved one is considered to be the most stressful of all life events. However, the impact of bereavement on quality of life varies between individuals. The aim of our study was to assess emotional functioning (EF), which is a domain of quality of life, of bereaved relatives after the death of their loved one and its associated factors.


150 bereaved relatives completed the bereavement questionnaire. In 41% of the bereaved relatives EF was ≤71, indicating clinically relevant low EF. Multivariable logistic regression showed that females experienced more often emotional problems (OR = 2.82). Emotional functioning pre-bereavement (OR = 0.96) and social support during bereavement (OR = 0.97) were associated with low EF during bereavement.

More about this publication

  • Volume 31
  • Issue nr. 10
  • Pages 1719-1727
  • Publication date 01-10-2022

This site uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.