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Prolonged grief is a disorder (PGD) characterized by severe and disabling grief reactions for an extended period of time after the loss of a significant person. ICD-11 and DSM-5-TR differ substantially in individual criteria. Estimation of the respective prevalence of PGDICD-11 and PGDDSM-5-TR and the frequency with which single symptoms of prolonged grief occur in the general population. Out of a representative sample of the German general population (N=2498), n = 914 reported a significant loss and prolonged grief symptoms based on the extended version of the self-reported Prolonged Grief Disorder-13+9 (PG13+9). Sociodemographic and loss-related characteristics were collected. The probable prevalence of PGDICD-11 was 1.5% and that of PGDDSM-5-TR was 1.2% in the general sample. Among bereaved persons (n=914), the prevalence of developing PGDICD-11 was 4.2% and that of PGDDSM-5-TR was 3.3%. Diagnostic agreement between the two criteria-sets was very high and did not increase after heightening the accessory symptom threshold for PGDICD-11. Difficulties accepting the loss was the most frequent single symptom (14-25%) and grief-related impairment was common (10-16%). Over 60% of participants with a probable PGD diagnosis utilized health care services. Results are based on self-reported data. The PG13+9 was not designed to assess grief symptoms according to ICD-11 and DSM-5-TR diagnostic criteria. Prolonged grief according to ICD-11 and DSM-5-TR is a notable disorder in the general population. Among bereaved persons, single symptoms of prolonged grief are relatively frequent and cause substantial degrees of impairment. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Rita Rosner, Hannah Comtesse, Anna Vogel, Bettina K Doering. Prevalence of prolonged grief disorder. Journal of affective disorders. 2021 May 15;287:301-307

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PMID: 33812243

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