In the otherwise atheoretical diagnostic manual, the DSM-III and IV bereavement exclusion for the diagnosis of major depression (MDD) stands out as the sole exception to the rule. No other life event excludes the diagnosis of any other axis I disorder. Since this diagnostic convention has important diagnostic and treatment implications, it is important to evaluate the validity of this exception. By comparing multiple features of bereavement related to non-bereavement related MDD, this prospective community study critically evaluates the validity of the bereavement exclusion
The prevalence of conditional criteria was common in the total sample (N=685) and did not differ between bereaved and non-bereaved groups. The global ‘symptom profile’ of depressed individuals was similar in both groups. ‘Duration’ was found to be longer in the bereaved group. Among all conditional criteria required by DSM-IV to accept bereavement related episodes under the category of MDD, only ‘marked dysfunction’ predicted treatment. Neither the ‘four conditional symptoms’ nor the ‘duration’ criterion predicted marked dysfunction. The ‘risk for recurrence’ was similar whether the first episode was bereavement related or not.
‘Psychotic symptoms’ were not assessed, and ‘marked dysfunction’ was not assessed on a continuous scale. The number of DSM-IV excluded episodes was too small to allow for generalization.
Our results suggest that the conditional criteria do not seem to serve the purpose of the originators of the bereavement exclusion criteria. The ‘conditional symptoms’ and the ‘duration’ criterion seem not to be markers of severity. We propose that the descriptive and etiologically neutral approach the DSM presumes in reaching a diagnosis should be applied in the case of MDD until more convincing data point to the contrary.
bereavement; depression; conditional criteria; DSM
To examine potential differences in psychiatric symptoms between parent-bereaved youth (N=172), youth who experienced the death of another relative (N=815), and non-bereaved youth (N=235), aged 11 to 21, above and beyond antecedent environmental and individual risk factors.
Socio-demographics, family composition, and family functioning were assessed one interview wave prior to the death. Child psychiatric symptoms were assessed during the wave in which the death was reported and one wave before and after the death. A year was selected randomly for the non-bereaved group.
The early loss of a parent was associated with poverty, previous substance abuse problems, and greater functional impairment before the loss. Both bereaved groups of children were more likely than non-bereaved children to show symptoms of separation anxiety and depression during the wave of the death, controlling for socio-demographic factors and prior psychiatric symptoms. One wave following the loss, bereaved children were more likely than non-bereaved children to exhibit symptoms of conduct disorder and substance abuse and to show greater functional impairment.
The impact of parental death on children must be considered in the context of pre-existing risk factors. Even after controlling for antecedent risk factors, both parent-bereaved children as well as those who lost other relatives were at increased risk for psychological and behavioral health problems.
Bereavement; Children; Psychiatric Symptoms; Longitudinal; Epidemiological
Earlier results concerning alcohol consumption of bereaved persons are contradictory. The aim of the present study was to analyze the relationship between bereavement and alcohol consumption accounting for time and gender differences on a nationally representative sample from Hungary ("Hungarostudy Epidemiological Panel Survey", N = 4457)
Drinking characteristics of mourning persons (alcohol consumption, dependence symptoms, and harmful consequences of alcohol use) in the first three years of grief were examined among persons between 18-75 years using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).
Men bereaved for one year scored higher on two dimensions of AUDIT (dependence symptoms and harmful alcohol use), while men bereaved for two years scored higher on all three dimensions of AUDIT compared to the non-bereaved. The rate of men clinically at-risk concerning alcohol consumption among the non-bereaved is 12.9%, and among men bereaved for one year is 18.4% (a non-significant difference), while 29.8% (p < 0.001, OR = 2,781) among men bereaved for two years. However, men bereaved for three years did not differ from the non-bereaved in their drinking habits. In case of bereaved women, again no difference was found with respect to alcohol use compared to the non-bereaved.
Among bereaved men, the risk of alcohol related problems tends to be higher, which can be shown both among men bereaved for one year as well as men bereaved for two years. Considering the higher morbidity and mortality rates of bereaved men, alcohol consumption might play a mediator role. These facts draw attention to the importance of prevention, early recognition, and effective therapy of hazardous drinking in bereaved men.
bereavement; alcohol consumption; national representative survey; gender differences
Little is known about the long-term impact of the killing of a parent in childhood or adolescence during war on distress and disability in young adulthood. This study assessed current prevalence rates of mental disorders and levels of dysfunction among young adults who had lost their father due to war-related violence in childhood or adolescence.
179 bereaved young adults and 175 non-bereaved young adults were interviewed a decade after experiencing the war in Kosovo. Prevalence rates of Major Depressive Episode (MDE), anxiety, and substance use disorders, and current suicide risk were assessed using the Mini–International Neuropsychiatric Interview. The syndrome of Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) was assessed with the Prolonged Grief Disorder Interview (PG-13). Somatic symptoms were measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire. General health distress was assessed with the General Health Questionnaire.
Bereaved participants were significantly more likely to suffer from either MDE or any anxiety disorder than non-bereaved participants (58.7% vs. 40%). Among bereaved participants, 39.7% met criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 34.6% for PGD, and 22.3% for MDE. Bereaved participants with PGD were more likely to suffer from MDE, any anxiety disorder, or current suicide risk than bereaved participants without PGD. Furthermore, these participants reported significantly greater physical distress than bereaved participants without PGD.
War-related loss during middle childhood and adolescence presents significant risk for adverse mental health and dysfunction in young adulthood in addition to exposure to other war-related traumatic events. Furthermore, the syndrome of PGD can help to identify those with the greatest degree of distress and dysfunction.
Bereavement is a condition which most people experience several times during their lives. A small but noteworthy proportion of bereaved individuals experience a syndrome of prolonged psychological distress in relation to bereavement. The aim of the study was to develop a clinical tool to identify bereaved individuals who had a prognosis of complicated grief and to propose a model for a screening tool to identify those at risk of complicated grief applicable among bereaved patients in general practice and palliative care.
We examined the responses of 276 newly bereaved individuals to a variety of standardised and ad hoc questionnaire items eight weeks post loss. Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG-R) was used as a gold standard of distress at six months after bereavement. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves analysis was performed for all scales and items regarding ICG-R score. Sensitivity, specificity and area under curve (AUC) were calculated for scales and items with the most promising ROC curve analyses.
Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI) was the scale with the highest AUC (0.83) and adding a single item question ('Even while my relative was dying, I felt a sense of purpose in my life') gave a sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 75%. The positive/negative predictive values for this combination of questions were 70% and 85%, respectively. With this screening tool bereaved people could be categorized into three groups where group 1 had 7%, group 2 had 23% and group 3 had 64% propensity of suffering from complicated grief six months post loss.
This study shows that the BDI in combination with a single item question eight weeks post loss may be used for clinical screening for risk of developing complicated grief after six months. The feasibility and clinical implications of the screening tool has to be tested in a clinical setting.
The purpose of this study was to examine the joint effects of bereavement and caregiver intervention on caregiver depressive symptoms
Design and Methods
Alzheimer’s caregivers from a randomized trial of an enhanced caregiver support intervention versus usual care who had experienced the death of their spouse (n = 254) were repeatedly assessed with the Geriatric Depression Scale prior to and following bereavement. Random effects regression growth curve analyses examined the effects of treatment group and bereavement while controlling for other variables
The death of the care recipient led to reductions in depressive symptoms for both caregiving groups. Enhanced support intervention led to lower depressive symptoms compared with controls both before and after bereavement. Post-bereavement group differences were stronger for caregivers of spouses who did not previously experience a nursing home placement. These caregivers maintained these differences for more than 1 year after bereavement. Caregivers who received the enhanced support intervention were more likely to show long-term patterns of fewer depressive symptoms before and after bereavement, suggesting resilience, whereas control caregivers were more likely to show chronic depressive symptoms before and after the death of their spouse.
Caregiver intervention has the potential to alter the long-term course of the caregiving career. Such clinical strategies may also protect caregivers against chronic depressive symptoms that would otherwise persist long after caregiving ends.
Caregiving; Bereavement; Intervention; Resilience
Growing data suggest that complicated grief (CG) may be common in clinical care settings, but there are few prior reports about CG in outpatients presenting with primary mood disorders.
The present study examined rates of bereavement and threshold CG symptoms (defined as a score ≥ 25 on the Inventory of Complicated Grief scale) in 111 outpatients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 142 healthy controls participating in a study of stress and depression. Clinical and demographic characteristics were also compared for bereaved individuals with CG (MDD + CG) to those without (MDD – CG). Participants completed structured diagnostic interviews as well as measures of CG, depression, anxiety, exposure to traumatic events, and perceived social support.
Lifetime history of a significant loss did not differ for the MDD and control groups (79.3% vs. 76.1%), but bereaved participants with MDD had higher rates of threshold CG (25.0% vs. 2.8%). Amongst those with MDD, CG was associated with a higher prevalence of lifetime alcohol dependence, greater exposure to traumatic events, and lower perceived social support. Depressed women, but not men, with CG also had higher rates of panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Our findings are limited by the lack of a clinician confirmatory assessment of CG diagnosis, absence of complete information about the nature and timing of the loss, and relatively narrow generalizability.
We found high rates of CG in a group of psychiatric outpatients with chronic MDD, suggesting that patients with depression should be routinely screened for CG.
complicated grief; bereavement; traumatic grief; prolonged grief; major depression
The association between anxiety and depression, and eczema is well known in the literature, but factors underlying this association remain unclear. Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and female gender have been found to be associated with both depression and eczema. Somatization and health anxiety are known to be associated with anxiety and depression, further, somatization symptoms and health anxiety have also been found in several dermatological conditions. Accordingly, omega-3 fatty acid supplement, female gender, somatization and health anxiety are possible contributing factors in the association between anxiety and depression, and eczema. The aim of the study is to examine the relevance of proposed contributing factors for the association between anxiety and depression, and eczema, including, omega-3 fatty acid supplement, female gender, health anxiety and somatization.
Anxiety and depression was measured in the general population (n = 15715) employing the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Information on eczema, female gender, omega-3 fatty acid supplement, health anxiety and somatization was obtained by self-report.
Somatization and health anxiety accounted for more than half of the association between anxiety/depression, and eczema, while the other factors examined were of minor relevance for the association of interest.
We found no support for female gender and omega-3 fatty acid supplement as contributing factors in the association between anxiety/depression, and eczema. Somatization and health anxiety accounted for about half of the association between anxiety/depression, and eczema, somatization contributed most. The association between anxiety/depression, and eczema was insignificant after adjustment for somatization and health anxiety. Biological mechanisms underlying the mediating effect of somatization are yet to be revealed.
Depression measures that include somatic symptoms may inflate severity
estimates among medically ill patients, including those with cardiovascular
To evaluate whether people receiving in-patient treatment following acute
myocardial infarction (AMI) had higher somatic symptom scores on the Beck
Depression Inventory–II (BDI–II) than a non-medically ill control
group matched on cognitive/affective scores.
Somatic scores on the BDI–II were compared between 209 patients
admitted to hospital following an AMI and 209 psychiatry out-patients matched
on gender, age and cognitive/affective scores, and between 366 post-AMI
patients and 366 undergraduate students matched on gender and
Somatic symptoms accounted for 44.1% of total BDI–II score for the
209 post-AMI and psychiatry out-patient groups, 52.7% for the 366 post-AMI
patients and 46.4% for the students. Post-AMI patients had somatic scores on
average 1.1 points higher than the students (P<0.001). Across
groups, somatic scores accounted for approximately 70% of low total scores
(BDI–II <4) v. approximately 35% in patients with total
BDI–II scores of 12 or more.
Our findings contradict assertions that self-report depressive symptom
measures inflate severity scores in post-AMI patients. However, the
preponderance of somatic symptoms at low score levels across groups suggests
that BDI–II scores may include a small amount of somatic symptom
variance not necessarily related to depression in post-AMI and non-medically
This study examined the prevalence of self-reported depressive symptoms and the self reported somatic depressive symptoms as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) among patients hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome (ACS), and explored the impact of gender on both. A convenience sample of 789 adults (248 women and 541 men) was recruited for the study during hospital admission for ACS and participants were screened for self-reported depressive symptoms. BDI-II scores of ≥14 indicate a moderate level of depressive symptoms and this cut-off score was used to categorize patients into depressed and non-depressed groups. Pearson chi-square tests for independence (categorical variables) and t tests for independent samples (continuous variables) were used for gender comparisons. Results showed that depressive symptoms during ACS episodes were different between women and men. Women reported greater overall depressive symptoms (BDI-II mean = 11.89, S.D. = 9.68) than men (BDI-II mean = 9.00, S.D. = 7.93) (P < 0.000). Significantly more women (7.66%) were identified positive for somatic depressive symptoms (sleep and appetite disturbances and fatigue) than men (2.22%) (P = 0.0003). Findings support that there are gender differences in depressive symptoms experienced by patients hospitalized for ACS. Somatic symptoms of depression may be important indicators of depression especially among female ACS patients.
Four putative mediators underlying gender differences in youths’ recovery from bereavement-related internalizing problems were examined in a sample (N = 109; age range of 8 to 16 years at the initial assessment) of parentally-bereaved youth: intrusive thoughts about grief, post-death stressors, negative appraisals of post-death stressors and fear of abandonment. A three-wave parallel process longitudinal growth model design was employed. Changes in internalizing problems and mediators were measured as a function of months since the death. Girls showed stability in depression symptoms and a slight rise in anxiety symptoms; boys’ trajectories of symptoms of anxiety and depression declined. Girls’ higher initial levels of post-death stressors, threat appraisals and fear of abandonment mediated their higher level of internalizing problems 14 months later. Girls’ higher initial fear of abandonment also mediated additional growth in anxiety relative to boys.
Complicated Grief (CG) is under consideration as a new diagnosis in DSM5. We sought to add empirical support to the current dialogue by examining the commonly used Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG) scale completed by 782 bereaved individuals.
We employed IRT analyses, factor analyses, and sensitivity and specificity analyses utilizing our full sample (n=782), and also compared confirmed CG cases (n=288) to non-cases (n=377). Confirmed CG cases were defined as individuals bereaved at least 6 months who were seeking care for CG, had an ICG ≥ 30, and received a structured clinical interview for CG by a certified clinician confirming CG as their primary illness. Non-cases were bereaved individuals who did not present with CG as a primary complaint (including those with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and controls) and had an ICG<25.
IRT analyses provided guidance about the most informative individual items and their association with CG severity. Factor analyses demonstrated a single factor solution when the full sample was considered, but within CG cases, six symptom clusters emerged: 1) yearning and preoccupation with the deceased, 2) anger and bitterness, 3) shock and disbelief, 4) estrangement from others, 5) hallucinations of the deceased, and 6) behavior change, including avoidance and proximity seeking. The presence of at least one symptom from three different symptom clusters optimized sensitivity (94.8%) and specificity (98.1%).
These data, derived from a diverse and predominantly clinical help seeking population, add an important perspective to existing suggestions for DSM5 criteria for CG.
complicated grief; symptoms; grief; loss; DSM; diagnostic criteria; factor analyses; IRT
Women have a higher prevalence of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and report more severe depressive symptoms than men. Several studies have suggested that gender differences in depression may occur because women report higher levels of somatic symptoms than men. Those studies, however, have not controlled or matched for non-somatic symptoms. The objective of this study was to examine if women report relatively more somatic symptoms than men matched on cognitive/affective symptoms.
Male and female patients receiving treatment for MDD in outpatient psychiatric clinics in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, USA were matched on Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) cognitive/affective symptom scores. Male and female BDI-II somatic symptom scores were compared using independent samples 2-tailed t-tests.
Of 472 male and 1,026 female patients, there were 470 male patients (mean age = 40.1 years, SD = 15.1) and 470 female patients (mean age = 43.1 years, SD = 17.2) successfully matched on BDI-II cognitive/affective symptom scores. Somatic symptoms accounted for 35% of total BDI-II scores for male patients versus 38% for matched female patients. Female patients had somatic symptom scores on average 1.3 points higher than males (p<.001), equivalent to 4% of the total BDI-II scores of female patients. Only 5% of male patients and 7% of female patients scored 2 or higher on all BDI-II somatic symptom items.
Gender differences in somatic scores were very small. Thus, differences in the experience and reporting of somatic symptoms would not likely explain gender differences in depression rates and symptom severity.
To investigate how loss of a spouse affects mortality risk in the bereaved partner.
Design and setting
Prospective cohort study in Renfrew and Paisley in Scotland.
4395 married couples aged 45–64 years when the study was carried out between 1972 and 1976.
The date of bereavement for the bereaved spouse was the date of death of his or her spouse. Bereavement could occur at any time during the follow‐up period, so it was considered as a time‐dependent exposure variable and the Cox proportional hazards model for time‐dependent variables was used. The relative rate (RR) of mortality was calculated for bereaved versus non‐bereaved spouses and adjusted for confounding variables.
Main outcome measures
Causes of death to 31 March 2004.
Bereaved participants were at higher risk than non‐bereaved participants of dying from any cause (RR 1.27; 95% CI 1.2 to 1.35). These risks remained but were attenuated after adjustment for confounding variables. There were raised RRs for bereaved participants dying of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, all cancer, lung cancer, smoking‐related cancer, and accidents or violence. After adjustment for confounding variables, RRs remained higher for bereaved participants for all these causes except for mortality from lung cancer. There was no strong statistical evidence that the increased risks of death associated with bereavement changed with time after bereavement.
Conjugal bereavement, in addition to existing risk factors, is related to mortality risk for major causes of death.
Studies among adults have shown that symptoms of prolonged grief disorder (PGD) are distinct from those of bereavement-related depression and post-traumatic stress-disorder (PTSD). This study was an attempt to replicate this finding in two distinct samples of bereaved children (N = 197; aged 8–12 years) and adolescents (N = 135; 13–18 years), confronted with the death of a parent, sibling or other close relative. Using confirmatory factor analyses, we compared the fit of a one-factor model with the fit of a three-factor model in which symptoms formed three distinct, correlated factors. In both samples, findings showed that the model in which symptoms of PGD, depression, and PTSD loaded on separate factors was superior to a one-factor model and displayed excellent model fit. Summed scores on the PGD, depression, and PTSD items were significantly associated with functional impairment, attesting to the concurrent validity of the PGD, depression, and PTSD factors. The current findings complement prior evidence from adult samples that PGD is a distinct syndrome and suggest that PGD symptoms should be addressed in the assessment and treatment of bereaved children and adolescent seeking help following their loss.
Prolonged grief disorder; Complicated grief; Depression; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Children; Adolescents
Objective To assess how euthanasia in terminally ill cancer patients
affects the grief response of bereaved family and friends.
Design Cross sectional study.
Setting Tertiary referral centre for oncology patients in Utrecht,
Participants 189 bereaved family members and close friends of
terminally ill cancer patients who died by euthanasia and 316 bereaved family
members and close friends of comparable cancer patients who died a natural
death between 1992 and 1999.
Main outcome measures Symptoms of traumatic grief assessed by the
inventory of traumatic grief, current feelings of grief assessed by the Texas
revised inventory of grief, and post-traumatic stress reactions assessed by
the impact of event scale.
Results The bereaved family and friends of cancer patients who died
by euthanasia had less traumatic grief symptoms (adjusted difference -5.29
(95% confidence interval -8.44 to -2.15)), less current feeling of grief
(adjusted difference 2.93 (0.85 to 5.01)); and less post-traumatic stress
reactions (adjusted difference -2.79 (-5.33 to -0.25)) than the family and
friends of patients who died of natural causes. These differences were
independent of other risk factors.
Conclusions The bereaved family and friends of cancer patients who
died by euthanasia coped better with respect to grief symptoms and
post-traumatic stress reactions than the bereaved of comparable cancer
patients who died a natural death. These results should not be interpreted as
a plea for euthanasia, but as a plea for the same level of care and openness
in all patients who are terminally ill.
Despite abundant bereavement care options, consensus is lacking regarding optimal care for bereaved persons.
We conducted a systematic review, searching MEDLINE, PsychINFO, CINAHL, EBMR, and other databases using the terms (bereaved or bereavement) and (grief) combined with (intervention or support or counselling or therapy) and (controlled or trial or design). We also searched citations in published reports for additional pertinent studies. Eligible studies had to evaluate whether the treatment of bereaved individuals reduced bereavement-related symptoms. Data from the studies was abstracted independently by two reviewers.
74 eligible studies evaluated diverse treatments designed to ameliorate a variety of outcomes associated with bereavement. Among studies utilizing a structured therapeutic relationship, eight featured pharmacotherapy (4 included an untreated control group), 39 featured support groups or counselling (23 included a control group), and 25 studies featured cognitive-behavioural, psychodynamic, psychoanalytical, or interpersonal therapies (17 included a control group). Seven studies employed systems-oriented interventions (all had control groups). Other than efficacy for pharmacological treatment of bereavement-related depression, we could identify no consistent pattern of treatment benefit among the other forms of interventions.
Due to a paucity of reports on controlled clinical trails, no rigorous evidence-based recommendation regarding the treatment of bereaved persons is currently possible except for the pharmacologic treatment of depression. We postulate the following five factors as impeding scientific progress regarding bereavement care interventions: 1) excessive theoretical heterogeneity, 2) stultifying between-study variation, 3) inadequate reporting of intervention procedures, 4) few published replication studies, and 5) methodological flaws of study design.
Bereavement; intervention; systematic review
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major disease among adults, and its deterioration was reported to be associated with psychological imbalance. Meanwhile, bereavement and divorce have proven harmful to the health status of a surviving spouse. But few studies have been conducted to evaluate the remedial effect on survivors' health outcome by remarriage after bereavement. The present study thus examined the associations between remarriage and the onset of COPD.
Our cohort was drawn from Health and Retirement Study participants in the United States, and consisted of 2676 subjects who were divorced or bereaved from 1992 to 2002. We then followed them for up to 11 years and assessed the incidence rate of COPD using a Cox proportional hazard model after adjusting for marital status, age, gender, education and the number of cigarettes smoked.
Among all subjects, 224 who remarried after bereavement or divorce tended to be younger and more male dominated. Remarriage after bereavement/divorce was associated with significantly decreased risk of COPD onset for overall subjects [hazard ratio (HR): 0.51, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.28-0.94], female subjects [HR: 0.36, 95% CI: 0.13-0.98], and for those under 70 years old [HR: 0.36, 95% CI: 0.17-0.79].
This study investigates the impact of remarriage on health outcome based on a large-scale population survey and indicates that remarriage significantly correlates with reduced risk of COPD incidence, even after adjusting smoking habit.
Unexplained somatic symptoms are common among trauma survivors. The relationship between trauma and somatization appears to be mediated by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, only few studies have focused on what other psychological risk factors may predispose a trauma victim towards developing somatoform symptoms.
The present paper examines the predictive value of PTSD severity, dissociation, negative affectivity, depression, anxiety, and feeling incompetent on somatization in a Danish sample of 169 adult men and women who were affected by a series of explosions in a firework factory settled in a residential area.
Negative affectivity and feelings of incompetence significantly predicted somatization, explaining 42% of the variance. PTSD was significant until negative affectivity was controlled for.
Negative affectivity and feelings of incompetence significantly predicted somatization in the trauma sample whereas dissociation, depression, and anxiety were not associated with degree of somatization. PTSD as a risk factor was mediated by negative affectivity.
The affective effect of suicide on people around is assessed with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and some correlates are examined to identify characteristics of the bereaved individuals who score high on depression. We used the informants of 66 suicides as subjects for study and the informants of 66 living people as the control group. For each suicide and living person, we interviewed two informants: one family member and one friend. Data collection was accomplished in China in the summer of 2003. Results indicate that the bereaved people (informants of the suicides) are more likely to experience depression than those people in the control group. The closer the relationship to the suicide, the higher the degree of depression. While the survivor’s education and income are negatively correlated with his or her depression level, neither age nor gender is a predictor of depression in the sample. Given the strong relationship between suicide and depression, the bereaved survivors of suicide could be a high risk group of suicide. Further and larger study is warranted to investigate more details of the high risk group so as to recommend prevention measures.
As a pilot project, Indian Psychiatric Society conducted the first multicentric study involving diverse settings from teaching institutions in public and private sectors and even privately run psychiatric clinics.
Aim of the Study:
To study the typology of functional somatic complaints (FSC) in patients with first episode depression.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 741 patients from 16 centers across the country participated in the study. They were assessed on Bradford Somatic Symptom inventory for FSC, Beck Depression Inventory for severity of depression, and Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale- anxiety index (CPRS-AI) for anxiety symptoms.
The mean age of the study sample was 38.23 years (SD-11.52). There was equal gender distribution (male - 49.8% vs. females 50.2%). Majority of the patients were married (74.5%), Hindus (57%), and from nuclear family (68.2%). A little over half of the patients were from urban background (52.9%). The mean duration of illness at the time of assessment was 25.55 months. Most of the patients (77%) had more than 10 FSCs, with 39.7% having more than 20 FSCs as assessed on Bradford Somatic Inventory. The more common FSC as assessed on Bradford Somatic Inventory were lack of energy (weakness) much of the time (76.2%), severe headache (74%) and feeling tired when not working (71%), pain in legs (64%), aware of palpitations (59.5%), head feeling heavy (59.4%), aches and pains all over the body (55.5%), mouth or throat getting dry (55.2%), pain or tension in neck and shoulder (54%), head feeling hot or burning (54%), and darkness or mist in front of the eyes (49.1%). The prevalence and typology of FSCs is to a certain extent influenced by the sociodemographic variables and severity of depression.
Functional somatic symptoms are highly prevalent in Indian depressed patients and hence deserve more attention while diagnosing depression in Indian setting.
Depression; Functional somatic complaints; India
Among patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), depression is both common and under-recognized. The association of different manifestations of depression, somatic and cognitive, with depression recognition and long-term prognosis is poorly understood.
Methods and Results
Depression was confirmed in 481 AMI patients enrolled from 21 sites during their index hospitalization with a Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) score ≥10. Within the PHQ-9, separate somatic and cognitive symptom scores were derived and the independent association between these domains and the clinical recognition of depression, as documented in the medical records, was evaluated. In a separate multisite AMI registry of 2,347 patients, the association between somatic and cognitive depressive symptoms and 4-year all-cause mortality and 1-year all-cause rehospitalization was evaluated. Depression was clinically recognized in 29% (n=140) of patients. Cognitive depressive symptoms (Relative Risk [RR] per Standard Deviation [SD] increase=1.14; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03–1.26; p=0.01) were independently associated with depression recognition, while the association for somatic symptoms and recognition (RR=1.04; 95% CI 0.87–1.26; p=0.66) was not significant. However, unadjusted Cox regression analyses found that only somatic depressive symptoms were associated with 4-year mortality (Hazard Ratio [HR] per SD increase=1.22; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.08–1.39) or 1-year rehospitalization (HR=1.22; 95%CI 1.11–1.33) while cognitive manifestations were not (HR for mortality=1.01; 95%CI 0.89–1.14; HR for rehospitalization=1.01; 95%CI 0.93–1.11). After multivariable adjustment, the association between somatic symptoms and rehospitalization persisted (HR=1.16; 95% CI:1.06–1.27; p=0.01) but was attenuated for mortality (HR=1.07; 95% CI:0.94–1.21; p=0.30).
Depression after AMI was recognized in fewer than 1 in 3 patients. Although cognitive symptoms were associated with recognition of depression, somatic symptoms were associated with long-term outcomes. Comprehensive screening and treatment of both somatic and cognitive symptoms may be necessary to optimize depression recognition and treatment in AMI patients.
Depressive symptoms; myocardial infarction; treatment; mortality; rehospitalization
The death of a child is a tragedy resulting in family trauma and disorganization. The present study sought to evaluate the intensity of grief experienced by parents who have lost a child in the perinatal period (stillbirth, premature baby, term baby less than one month) and parents who have lost a child after the perinatal period (one month to 18 years).
To compare the intensities of the bereavement reactions among grieving parents and to follow the course of such phenomena, a detailed bereavement questionnaire (the French version of the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief [TRIG-F]) was used. The TRIG-F is a three-part questionnaire that quantifies the intensity of grief near the time of death and in the present, and the perceived capacity of coping.
Seventy-one bereaved parents, representing 43 families, completed the questionnaire. Parents who lost a child after the perinatal period showed grief at a higher intensity, measured by the TRIG-F, than parents who had lost a child in the perinatal period (83±22 versus 69±20 [mean±SD]; P=0.004). Mothers expressed a greater intensity of grief than fathers. No significant difference between mothers of the perinatal group and mothers of the postperinatal group was shown. Sudden death and death ocurring at home were associated with a higher grief intensity.
Bereavement after the loss of a newborn or an older child is intense and prolonged. These findings support the importance of bereavement care for grieving parents and suggest that these parents appreciate help from health care professionals.
Bereavement; Child; End-of-life care; Parental grief
We investigated associations between stress and mental health (positive affect, depressive symptoms) among HIV-negative and HIV-positive midlife and older gay-identified men, along with the mediating and moderating effects of mastery and emotional support. We also studied the mental health effects of same-sex marriage.
We obtained data from self-administered questionnaires completed in 2009 or 2010 by a subsample (n=202; average age=56.91 years; age range= 44–75 years) of participants in the University of California, Los Angeles component of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, one of the largest and longest-running natural-history studies of HIV/AIDS in the United States.
Both sexual minority stress (perceived gay-related stigma, excessive HIV bereavements) and aging-related stress (independence and fiscal concerns) appeared to have been detrimental to mental health. Sense of mastery partially mediated these associations. Being legally married was significantly protective net of all covariates, including having a domestic partner but not being married. Education, HIV status, and race/ethnicity had no significant effects.
Sexual minority and aging-related stress significantly affected the emotional lives of these men. Personal sense of mastery may help to sustain them as they age. We observed specific mental health benefits of same-sex legal marriage.
Around 9% to 20% of bereaved individuals experience symptoms of complicated grief (CG) that are associated with significant distress and impairment. A major issue is whether CG represents a distinctive nosographic entity, independent from other mental disorders, particularly major depression (MD), and the role of symptoms of adult separation anxiety. The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical features of patients with CG versus a sample of healthy control subjects, with particular focus on adult separation anxiety and lifetime mood spectrum symptoms.
A total of 53 patients with CG and 50 healthy control subjects were consecutively recruited and assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis-I disorders (SCID-I/P), Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG), Adult Separation Anxiety Questionnaire (ASA-27), Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS) and Mood Spectrum-Self Report (MOODS-SR) lifetime version.
Patients with CG reported significantly higher scores on the MOODS-SR, ASA-27, and WSAS with respect to healthy control subjects. The scores on the ASA-27 were significantly associated with the MOODS-SR depressive and manic components amongst both patients and healthy control subjects, with a stronger association in the latter.
A major limitation of the present study is the small sample size that may reduce the generalizability of the results. Moreover, lifetime MOODS-SR does not provide information about the temporal sequence of the manic or depressive symptoms and the loss. The frequent comorbidity with MD and the association with both depressive and manic lifetime symptoms do not support the independence of CG from mood disorders. In our patients, CG is associated with high levels of separation anxiety in adulthood. However, the presence of lifetime mood instability, as measured by the frequent presence of depressive and hypomanic lifetime symptoms, suggests that cyclothymia might represent the common underlying feature characterizing the vulnerability to both adult separation anxiety and CG.