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Consensus criteria for traumatic grief: A preliminary empirical test

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.

Copyright

Corresponding author

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

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

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

Footnotes

References

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Consensus criteria for traumatic grief: A preliminary empirical test

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