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The DSM and ICD have taken steps to introduce a grief disorder as a new diagnostic entity. Evidence justifies the inclusion of prolonged grief disorder, but not complicated grief, as a new mental disorder.
Reflections on results of a recent study suggest that stages of grief might more accurately be described as states of grief. Resolution of grief coincides with increasing acceptance of loss. Research indicating how grief resolution promotes acceptance may prove clinically useful in easing emotional pain associated with loss.
Self-efficacy, a characteristic that is protective against depressive symptoms, may be undermined by stressful life events.
To estimate the effects of stressful life events on self-efficacy, and to examine self-efficacy as a mediator of the effect of stressful life events on symptoms of depression.
Using a sample of 2858 respondents from the longitudinal Americans' Changing Lives study, path analyses were used to evaluate interrelationships between self-efficacy, life events and symptoms of depression controlling for a variety of potentially confounding variables. Separate models were estimated for those with and without prior depression.
For those with prior depression, dependent life events had a significant, negative impact on self-efficacy. For those without prior depression, life events had no effect on self-efficacy.
For those with prior depression, self-efficacy mediates approximately 40% of the effect of dependent stressful life events on symptoms of depression.
Studies suggest that symptoms of traumatic grief constitute a distinct syndrome worthy of diagnosis.
A consensus conference aimed to develop and test a criteria set for traumatic grief.
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.
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.
Preliminary analyses suggest the consensus criteria for traumatic grief have satisfactory operating characteristics, and point to directions for further refinement of the criteria set.
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