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Dr Lucy Selman - University of Bristol. Bristol, , GB

Dr Lucy Selman Dr Lucy Selman

Senior Research Fellow | University of Bristol


Exploring complex clinical interventions, and palliative and end of life care and bereavement.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Qualitative and Mixed Methods

End of Life Care

Palliative Care

Grief and Bereavement

Intervention Development and Evaluation


Dr Lucy Selman is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Population Health Sciences, where she co-leads the Palliative and End of Life Care Research Group, an initiative she co-founded in 2017. Her research over the last 16 years has focussed on people’s experiences of serious illness, the end of life and bereavement, and how to improve care in these domains. She has collaborated and published widely in this field, focusing specifically on psychosocial and spiritual aspects of the illness experience and of care provision, decision-making and communication, family caregiving, cultural factors in care provision, and end of life care education and training.

Dr Selman is currently co-Principal Investigator on a national study of bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, funded by UK Research and Innovation, and is conducting a fellowship funded by the National Institute of Health Research. She is also advising Public Health England on bereavement during COVID-19 and is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on bereavement. In 2020, Dr Selman founded the Good Grief Festival, a collaborative event led by the University of Bristol and supported by charity partner Marie Curie and the National Lottery Community Fund. The first festival in 2020 was attended by 9,000 people and watched on the Grief Channel by 4,000 viewers.





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Mitigating Poor Bereavement Outcomes Dr Lucy Selman - Bereavement - Sky News



Education (4)

University of Nottingham: BA (Hons), Philosophy 2000

Birkbeck College, University of London: MPhil, Philosophy 2003

Thesis subject: Objectivity in theories of human nature – overcoming social prejudice

King's College London: Postgraduate Certificate, Palliative Care 2007

Modules: Research Methods and Statistics (78%); Psychosocial, Cultural, Spiritual and Ethical Issues (71%); Advanced Psychosocial, Cultural, Spiritual and Ethical Issues (75%)

King's College London: PhD, Palliative Care 2012

Title: Spiritual well-being and its assessment among patients receiving palliative care in South Africa and Uganda

Affiliations (2)

  • Global Network for Spirituality and Health : Member
  • European Association of Palliative Care Spiritual Care Taskforce : Co-chair of the Research Subgroup

Media Appearances (5)

The Queen turns 95: How are you meant to manage grief around special occasions?

Gibraltar Chronicle  online


“You might be uncomfortable or not know what to say, but acknowledging that that someone is grieving is so important,” says Dr Lucy Selman, senior research fellow at the University of Bristol and founding director of Good Grief Festival. “You don’t need to worry about reminding them of their loss and making them sad – they haven’t forgotten, as they are living with the loss every day.

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Bristol festival asks can there be a 'gift in grief'?

BBC News  online


In a year that has seen a national outpouring of grief, a team of academics has been encouraging people to learn more about bereavement and even to see the "gift in grief". Dr Lucy Selman set up the Good Grief Festival, which was attended by around 12,000 people.

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UK's Covid bereaved suffer heightened grief, finds study

The Guardian  online


“We now have the opportunity to prevent a further mental health crisis by implementing our recommendations to improve end of life care and bereavement support,” said Dr Lucy Selman, of the palliative and end of life care research group at the University of Bristol, who is helping lead the study. “Our preliminary findings also suggest that men and people from ethnic minority groups might have different experiences of bereavement and support. But to test this we need more participants in these categories.”

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Study investigates inequality in COVID-19 bereavement support for BAME families

Epigram  online


With regards to the gap of knowledge surrounding ethnic minority bereavement services, Dr Lucy Selman, Senior Research Fellow from the Centre for Academic Primary Care and Palliative and End of Life Research Group at the University of Bristol, adds ‘We know that there are barriers to accessing bereavement services in some population groups. We need to understand the reasons for this in order to be able create culturally appropriate services which meet the needs of those who are currently missing out on support.’

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Social isolation makes dealing with grief harder than ever, new Bristol University study finds

ITV News  online


But Dr Lucy Selman, a social scientist at the University of Bristol, says there are already trends showing there are likely to be long-term effects.

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Articles (5)

Sadness, despair and anger when a patient dies alone from COVID-19: A thematic content analysis of Twitter data from bereaved family members and friends

Palliative Medicine

To inform clinical practice and policy, it is essential to understand the lived experience of health and social care policies, including restricted visitation policies towards the end of life.

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‘Saying goodbye’ during the COVID-19 pandemic: A document analysis of online newspapers with implications for end of life care

Palliative Medicine

News media create a sense-making narrative, shaping, reflecting and enforcing cultural ideas and experiences. Reportage of COVID-related death and bereavement illuminates public perceptions of, and responses to, the COVID-19 pandemic.

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‘It’s like being in a war with an invisible enemy’: A document analysis of bereavement due to COVID-19 in UK newspapers

PLoS one

The COVID-19 pandemic has been followed intensely by the global news media, with deaths and bereavement a major focus. The media reflect and reinforce cultural conventions and sense-making, offering a lens which shapes personal experiences and attitudes. How COVID-19 bereavement is reported therefore has important societal implications. We aimed to explore the reportage and portrayal of COVID-19 related bereavement in the top seven most-read British online newspapers during two week-long periods in March and April 2020. We conducted a qualitative document analysis of all articles that described grief or bereavement after a death from COVID-19.

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6 End of life and bereavement experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic: Interim results from a national survey of bereaved people

BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care

COVID-19 represents a mass bereavement event, with 80,000+ excess UK deaths. The unprecedented clinical and social restrictions are potential risk factors for poor bereavement outcomes. This study investigates the bereavement experiences, support needs and support use of people bereaved during the pandemic.

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Test-guided dietary management of eczema in children: A randomized controlled feasibility trial (TEST)

Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Parents commonly ask about food allergy tests, to find a cause for their child's eczema, yet the value of routine testing is uncertain.

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