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Consensus criteria for traumatic grief

A preliminary empirical test

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Holly G. Prigerson*
Affiliation:
Yale University, New Haven, CT
M. Katherine Shear
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
Selby C. Jacobs
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
Charles F. Reynolds III
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
Paul K. Maciejewski
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
Jonathan R. T. Davidson
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
Robert Rosenheck
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
Paul A. Pilkonis
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
Camille B. Wortman
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
Janet B. W. Williams
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
Thomas A. Widiger
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
Ellen Frank
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
David J. Kupfer
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
Sidney Zisook
Affiliation:
Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (182), Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516
*
Dr Prigerson, Room 144, Connecticut Mental Health Center, Yale University School of Medicine, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06519, USA. E-mail: Holly.Prigerson@Yale.edu

Abstract

Background

Studies suggest that symptoms of traumatic grief constitute a distinct syndrome worthy of diagnosis.

Aims

A consensus conference aimed to develop and test a criteria set for traumatic grief.

Method

The expert panel proposed consensus criteria for traumatic grief. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analyses tested the performance of the proposed criteria on 306 widowed respondents at seven months post-loss.

Results

ROC analyses indicated that three of four separation distress symptoms (e.g. yearning, searching, loneliness) had to be endorsed as at least ‘sometimes true’ and four of the final eight traumatic distress symptoms (e.g. numbness, disbelief, distrust, anger, sense of futility about the future) had to be endorsed as at least ‘mostly true’ to yield a sensitivity of 0.93 and a specificity of 0.93 for a diagnosis of traumatic grief.

Conclusions

Preliminary analyses suggest the consensus criteria for traumatic grief have satisfactory operating characteristics, and point to directions for further refinement of the criteria set.

Type
Preliminary Reports
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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Footnotes

Declaration of interest

Grants received from the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Suicide Foundation and the Pepper Older Adults Independence Center.

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