Acceptability, feasibility and outcome of a screening programme for complicated grief in integrated primary and behavioural health care clinics

Sapana R. Patel, Andrea Cole, Virna Little, Natalia A. Skritskaya, Elizabeth Lever, Lisa B. Dixon, M. Katherine Shear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Complicated grief, a syndrome of persistent grief diagnosed >6 months following the loss of someone close is expected to be included in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases as a new diagnosis called prolonged grief disorder. Complicated grief is associated with impaired functioning and health comorbidity and does not respond to treatments for depression. Individuals may seek help in primary care where providers need to be familiar with the syndrome. Objective This study examines the acceptability, feasibility and outcome of a screening programme for complicated grief among diverse adults receiving behavioural health services in integrated primary care. Methods Behavioural health providers (n = 14) administered the Brief Grief Questionnaire and the Inventory of Complicated Grief during routine assessment and completed an acceptability survey. Descriptive statistics described rates of complicated grief symptoms and sample demographics, health and service use. Results Most providers (71%) reported the Brief Grief Questionnaire to be a moderate to very useful assessment instrument and the Inventory of Complicated Grief moderate to very useful for developing a treatment plan (57%). Of the 2425 patients screened, 1015 reported a loss over 6 months ago. Of these 1015, 28% (n = 282) screened positive on the Brief Grief Questionnaire and 22% (n = 228) endorsed symptoms of complicated grief (Inventory of Complicated Grief score ≥25), considered at high risk for needing clinical care. Conclusions A screening programme for identifying complicated grief was acceptable to providers, feasible to implement and useful in identifying complicated grief in integrated primary care clinics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalFamily Practice
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Federally qualified health centre
  • identify
  • prolonged grief disorder
  • protocol
  • provider
  • questionnaire

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