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May 2017

Clinically Relevant Diagnostic Criteria for a Persistent Impairing Grief Disorder: Putting Patients First

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 3School of Social Work, Columbia University, New York, New York
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, New York
JAMA Psychiatry. 2017;74(5):433-434. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.0290

Are complicated grief criteria better for diagnosing grief disorder than prolonged grief disorder criteria?—Yes.

Nearly everyone experiences bereavement during their life, followed by a period of acute grief. There is substantial evidence that a painful impairing form of grief persists among a minority of bereaved individuals that is associated with heightened suicidality, mental and physical morbidity, and an elevated risk of mortality.1,2 Evidence-based treatments are available for this condition,3 underscoring the need to provide clinicians with reliable diagnostic criteria.

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