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Impact of grief delivered via media technology

Advances in media technology have had a significant impact on our daily lives, in terms of how we conduct business and leisure. Recent events have also had significant emotional impact and we wish to highlight the potential health impact. The grief experienced following the death of a loved one can be one of the greatest stressors for those surviving — spouse and/or relatives. It is not only the emotional strain but also physiological changes in the immediate period after bereavement1,2 that affect health.

Bereavement may also affect non-relatives, which was only captured by these two patients referred independently for ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) monitoring as part of their clinical management. Both watched the televised broadcast of funeral proceedings for Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes. Although neither was a relative of Phillip Hughes and neither had met him, they both reported an emotional response to the broadcast.

Panel A in the Box shows the ABP recording for a woman who was taking an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. The recording shows that she had an increase in systolic blood pressure (25 mmHg) while she was sitting watching the funeral that was comparable with her responses to physical activity.

The ABP recording for the second woman is shown in Panel B in the