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Complicated grief in adults: Epidemiology, clinical features, assessment, and diagnosis

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


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 [1,2].

This topic reviews the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, assessment, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis of complicated grief. Treatment of complicated grief is discussed separately, as is grief and bereavement (clinical features and management) and palliative care.

(See "Complicated grief in adults: Treatment".)

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

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

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 13, 2017.
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