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This systematic review examines the relationship between late-life spousal bereavement and changes in routine health behaviors. We review six behavioral domains/modifiable risk factors that are important for maintaining health among elderly populations: physical activity, nutrition, sleep quality, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and body weight status. Thirty-four articles were identified, derived from 32 studies. We found strong evidence for a relationship between bereavement and nutritional risk and involuntary weight loss, and moderate evidence for impaired sleep quality and increased alcohol consumption. There was mixed evidence for a relationship between bereavement and physical activity. We identify several methodological shortcomings, and describe the clinical implications of this review for the development of preventive intervention strategies.
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- Changes in Routine Health Behaviors Following Late-life Bereavement: A Systematic Review
Sarah T. Stahl
- Springer US