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Randomized Controlled Trial of a Cognitive Narrative Crisis Intervention for Bereavement in Primary Healthcare

  • Ana Sofia Andrade (a1), Margarida Moreira (a1), Mónica Sá (a1), Duarte Pacheco (a1), Vera Almeida (a1) and José Carlos Rocha (a1)...

Background and Aims: As there are known risks of retraumatization through bereavement crisis interventions, we tailored a new intervention lowering the degree of direct emotional activation. However, we need some evidence on the effects of depression and psychotraumatic symptoms between 1 and 6 months after a loss. Method: We conducted a randomized controlled trial with two groups: control group (n = 18) and experimental group (n = 11) in two assessments (1 and 6 months after loss); both included a semi-structured interview (Socio-Demographic Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised–IES-R). The experimental group had a cognitive-narrative program with four sessions: recalling; cognitive and emotional subjectivization; metaphorization; and projecting sessions. Results: Participants in the experimental and control groups have lower levels of depression and traumatic stress 6 months after a loss. Statistically significant results in emotional numbing IES-R sub-scale are observed. Conclusions: A brief narrative-based cost-effective intervention has a positive effect on depression, controlling the traumatic stress and time after a loss.

Corresponding author
Correspondence to José Carlos Rocha, IINFACTS, CESPU, R. Central de Gandra 1317, 4585 116 Gandra PRD, Portugal. E-mail:
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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
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