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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2010 Oct;40(5):425-37. doi: 10.1521/suli.2010.40.5.425.

The effectiveness of family-based cognitive-behavior grief therapy to prevent complicated grief in relatives of suicide victims: the mediating role of suicide ideation.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


Grief interventions are more effective for high risk individuals. The presence of suicide ideation following suicide bereavement was examined to determine whether it indicates a high risk status. Using data from a randomized controlled trial (n = 122) on the effectiveness of cognitive-behavior therapy, the effect of suicide ideation on the effectiveness of grief therapy on the bereavement outcome at 13 months post loss was examined. Results show that suicide ideators more often have a history of mental disorder and suicidal behavior than non-ideators, and suicide ideation indicates a high risk for adverse bereavement outcome. Grief therapy likely reduces the risk of maladaptive grief reactions among suicide ideators. Therefore, suicide ideators may benefit from grief therapy following a loss through suicide.

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