A scoping research literature review to map the evidence on grief triggers
Grief is understandably severe in the first days, if not weeks or months, following the death of a beloved person. Unless the mourner develops complicated grief, which is prolonged severe and impactful grief, the initial acute grief lessens in severity over time, although waves of significant grief will still occur with grief triggers. A scoping research literature review was undertaken in early 2021 to determine how often grief triggers occur, what the most common grief triggers are, the impact of triggered grief, and what can be done (by those not diagnosed with complicated grief) to manage grief triggers and mitigate the effect of them. Nine academic library databases were searched for English-language research reports using the keywords "grief trigger(s)" and "research": CINAHL, Directory of Open Access (online) Journals, Humanities Index, JSTOR, Medline (Ovid), Periodicals Index Online, PsychArticles, Scopus, and Web of Science. Six research papers relevant for review were published in the last two decades, with some evidence gained on how often grief triggers occur, what constitutes a grief trigger, and the impact of grief triggers. Major gaps in evidence were revealed, despite grief triggers being identified as a major consideration for grief in general and for grief recovery specifically.