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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 20

of 'Grief and bereavement in adults: Management'

Evaluating the use of benzodiazepines following recent bereavement.
Warner J, Metcalfe C, King M
Br J Psychiatry. 2001 Jan;178(1):36-41.
BACKGROUND: There is no evidence to support current advice not to use benzodiazepines after bereavement.
AIMS: To determine the role of benzodiazepines in the management of bereavement.
METHOD: We conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the use of diazepam after recent bereavement. Participants were randomised to either 2 mg diazepam or identically packaged placebo up to three times daily. The primary outcome measure was the Bereavement Phenomenology Questionnaire.
RESULTS: Thirty subjects were randomised. No evidence was found of an effect of benzodiazepines on the course of the first 6 months of bereavement (estimated mean difference of combined follow-up assessments=0.3 in favour of placebo; 95% Cl - 6.2 to +6.7).
CONCLUSION: We found no evidence of a positive or negative effect of benzodiazepines on the course of bereavement.
Imperial College School of Medicine, St Charles Hospital, London, UK. j.warner@ic.ac.uk