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J Clin Psychol. 1979 Jan;35(1):35-45.

Follow-up research in primary prevention: a model of adjustment in acute grief.


Investigated the effects of preventive intervention that followed the life crisis of sudden death in the family. Two bereaved groups of families (one of which received preventive intervention service) and one non-bereaved group were compared in an outcome design and were assessed for indices of illness, psycho-social disturbance, and general quality of life. The results revealed that sudden death has a two-stage impact upon family survivors and that subsequent adjustment can be predicted from a knowledge of facts at the time of death. A preventive intervention service had little or no impact and may have been harmful. Discussion centered on possible intervention strategies with a focus upon the complex determinants of environmental stresses and family/individual variables.

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