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Br J Psychiatry. 1999 Jan;174:67-73.

Consensus criteria for traumatic grief. A preliminary empirical test.

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  • 1Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA. Holly.Prigerson@Yale.edu



Studies suggest that symptoms of traumatic grief constitute a distinct syndrome worthy of diagnosis.


A consensus conference aimed to develop and test a criteria set for traumatic grief.


The expert panel proposed consensus criteria for traumatic grief. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analyses tested the performance of the proposed criteria on 306 widowed respondents at seven months post loss.


ROC analyses indicated that three of four separation distress symptoms (e.g. yearning, searching, loneliness) had to be endorsed as at least 'sometimes true' and four of the final eight traumatic distress symptoms (e.g. numbness, disbelief, distrust, anger, sense of futility about the future) had to be endorsed as at least 'mostly true' to yield a sensitivity of 0.93 and a specificity of 0.93 for a diagnosis of traumatic grief.


Preliminary analyses suggest the consensus criteria for traumatic grief have satisfactory operating characteristics, and point to directions for further refinement of the criteria set.

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  • Criteria for traumatic grief and PTSD. [Br J Psychiatry. 1999]
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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