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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2006 Aug;36(4):418-31.

Grief shortly after suicide and natural death: a comparative study among spouses and first-degree relatives.

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  • 1Department of Social Psychiatry at the University of Groningen, PO Box 30.001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands.


Chronic dysfunction after complicated grief is not rare and emphasizes the need to identify bereaved individuals at risk. Three months following bereavement, self-reported psychiatric and general health of 153 relatives of 74 suicides was worse than of 70 relatives of 39 natural deaths. Moreover, the felt need for professional help was higher among the former, even after adjustment for expectedness of death, sociodemographic differences, and relatives'/spouses' neuroticism. This suggests that suicide-bereaved individuals may constitute a high-risk group of mourners in need of targeted postvention.

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