UpToDate
Official reprint from UpToDate®
www.uptodate.com ©2016 UpToDate®

Complicated grief in adults: Treatment

Authors
M Katherine Shear, MD
Charles F Reynolds III, MD
Naomi M Simon, MD, MSc
Sidney Zisook, MD
Section Editor
Peter P Roy-Byrne, MD
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD

INTRODUCTION

Grief is a natural response to the death of a loved one. However, complications can occur such that acute grief is unrelenting, intense, and functionally debilitating. Complicated grief is a unique and recognizable syndrome that requires specific treatment [1].

This topic reviews treatment of complicated grief. The epidemiology, clinical manifestations, assessment, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis of complicated grief are discussed separately, as are the clinical features of grief and bereavement, management of grief and bereavement, and palliative care.

(See "Complicated grief in adults: Epidemiology, clinical features, assessment, and diagnosis".)

(See "Grief and bereavement in adults: Clinical features".)

(See "Grief and bereavement in adults: Management".)

              

Subscribers log in here

To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information or to purchase a personal subscription, click below on the option that best describes you:
Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Sun Aug 21 00:00:00 GMT 2016.
The content on the UpToDate website is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions. The use of this website is governed by the UpToDate Terms of Use ©2016 UpToDate, Inc.
References
Top
  1. Shear MK. Clinical practice. Complicated grief. N Engl J Med 2015; 372:153.
  2. Simon NM. Treating complicated grief. JAMA 2013; 310:416.
  3. Guldin MB, Vedsted P, Jensen AB, et al. Bereavement care in general practice: a cluster-randomized clinical trial. Fam Pract 2013; 30:134.
  4. Wittouck C, Van Autreve S, De Jaegere E, et al. The prevention and treatment of complicated grief: a meta-analysis. Clin Psychol Rev 2011; 31:69.
  5. Boelen PA, de Keijser J, van den Hout MA, van den Bout J. Treatment of complicated grief: a comparison between cognitive-behavioral therapy and supportive counseling. J Consult Clin Psychol 2007; 75:277.
  6. Shear K, Frank E, Houck PR, Reynolds CF 3rd. Treatment of complicated grief: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2005; 293:2601.
  7. Wagner B, Knaevelsrud C, Maercker A. Internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for complicated grief: a randomized controlled trial. Death Stud 2006; 30:429.
  8. Shear MK, Wang Y, Skritskaya N, et al. Treatment of complicated grief in elderly persons: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry 2014; 71:1287.
  9. Kersting A, Dölemeyer R, Steinig J, et al. Brief Internet-based intervention reduces posttraumatic stress and prolonged grief in parents after the loss of a child during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Psychother Psychosom 2013; 82:372.
  10. Supiano KP, Luptak M. Complicated grief in older adults: a randomized controlled trial of complicated grief group therapy. Gerontologist 2014; 54:840.
  11. Simon NM, Shear MK, Fagiolini A, et al. Impact of concurrent naturalistic pharmacotherapy on psychotherapy of complicated grief. Psychiatry Res 2008; 159:31.
  12. Zygmont M, Prigerson HG, Houck PR, et al. A post hoc comparison of paroxetine and nortriptyline for symptoms of traumatic grief. J Clin Psychiatry 1998; 59:241.
  13. Rosner R, Bartl H, Pfoh G, et al. Efficacy of an integrative CBT for prolonged grief disorder: A long-term follow-up. J Affect Disord 2015; 183:106.
  14. Wetherell JL. Complicated grief therapy as a new treatment approach. Dialogues Clin Neurosci 2012; 14:159.
  15. Shear MK, Reynolds CF 3rd, Simon NM, et al. Optimizing Treatment of Complicated Grief: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry 2016; 73:685.
  16. Zuckoff A, Shear K, Frank E, et al. Treating complicated grief and substance use disorders: a pilot study. J Subst Abuse Treat 2006; 30:205.
  17. Asukai N, Tsuruta N, Saito A. Pilot study on traumatic grief treatment program for Japanese women bereaved by violent death. J Trauma Stress 2011; 24:470.
  18. Bryant RA, Kenny L, Joscelyne A, et al. Treating prolonged grief disorder: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry 2014; 71:1332.
  19. Bonanno GA, Papa A, Lalande K, et al. Grief processing and deliberate grief avoidance: a prospective comparison of bereaved spouses and parents in the United States and the People's Republic of China. J Consult Clin Psychol 2005; 73:86.
  20. Acierno R, Rheingold A, Amstadter A, et al. Behavioral activation and therapeutic exposure for bereavement in older adults. Am J Hosp Palliat Care 2012; 29:13.
  21. Papa A, Sewell MT, Garrison-Diehn C, Rummel C. A randomized open trial assessing the feasibility of behavioral activation for pathological grief responding. Behav Ther 2013; 44:639.
  22. Hensley PL, Slonimski CK, Uhlenhuth EH, Clayton PJ. Escitalopram: an open-label study of bereavement-related depression and grief. J Affect Disord 2009; 113:142.
  23. Simon NM, Thompson EH, Pollack MH, Shear MK. Complicated grief: a case series using escitalopram. Am J Psychiatry 2007; 164:1760.
  24. Bui E, Nadal-Vicens M, Simon NM. Pharmacological approaches to the treatment of complicated grief: rationale and a brief review of the literature. Dialogues Clin Neurosci 2012; 14:149.
  25. Barbosa V, Sá M, Carlos Rocha J. Randomised controlled trial of a cognitive narrative intervention for complicated grief in widowhood. Aging Ment Health 2014; 18:354.
  26. Lichtenthal WG, Neimeyer RA, Currier JM, et al. Cause of death and the quest for meaning after the loss of a child. Death Stud 2013; 37:311.
  27. Alves D, Mendes I, Gonçalves MM, Neimeyer RA. Innovative moments in grief therapy: reconstructing meaning following perinatal death. Death Stud 2012; 36:795.
  28. Leichsenring F, Leweke F, Klein S, Steinert C. The empirical status of psychodynamic psychotherapy - an update: Bambi's alive and kicking. Psychother Psychosom 2015; 84:129.
  29. Delalibera M, Presa J, Coelho A, et al. Family dynamics during the grieving process: a systematic literature review. Cien Saude Colet 2015; 20:1119.
  30. de Groot M, Neeleman J, van der Meer K, Burger H. The effectiveness of family-based cognitive-behavior grief therapy to prevent complicated grief in relatives of suicide victims: the mediating role of suicide ideation. Suicide Life Threat Behav 2010; 40:425.
  31. Iliya YA. Music therapy as grief therapy for adults with mental illness and complicated grief: a pilot study. Death Stud 2015; 39:173.
  32. Rosner R, Lumbeck G, Geissner E. Effectiveness of an inpatient group therapy for comorbid complicated grief disorder. Psychother Res 2011; 21:210.