Parental mental health after the accidental death of a son during military service: 23-year follow-up study.
ABSTRACT We prospectively studied parental mental health after suddenly losing a son in a military training accident. Parents (N = 32) were interviewed at 1, 2 and 23 years after the death of their son. The General Health Questionnaire and Expanded Texas Inventory of Grief were self-reported at 1, 2, 5, and 23 years; the Inventory of Complicated Grief was self-reported at 23 years. We observed a high prevalence of psychiatric disorders at 1- and 2-year follow-ups (57% and 45%, respectively), particularly major depression (43% and 31%, respectively). Only one mental disorder was diagnosed at the 23-year follow-up. Grief and psychological distress were highest at 1- and 2-year follow-ups. Spouses exhibited a high concordance of psychological distress. Mothers reported more intense grief reactions than did fathers. The loss of a son during military service may have a substantial impact on parental mental health particularly during the first 2 years after death. Spouses' grief can be interrelated and may contribute to their psychological distress.
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ABSTRACT: Background Bereavement following disasters is a devastating experience for family members. The aim of this study was to examine the long-term mental health effects of losing a loved one in a natural disaster.Methods Ninety-four Norwegians aged 18–80 years who lost close family members in the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami were evaluated 2 and 6 years after the disaster. The participants were either staying in an affected area at the time of the disaster (i.e., directly exposed) or not (i.e., not directly exposed). The prevalence of psychiatric disorders was assessed by the MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I). Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) was self-reported using the Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG), and functional impairment was self-reported using the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS).ResultsWe did not identify a significant decrease in the prevalence of PGD, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or major depressive disorder (MDD) from 2 to 6 years. Approximately, one-third of the bereaved (36%) had a psychiatric disorder 6 years after the tsunami. The most common disorder was PGD (12%) followed by general anxiety disorder (GAD, 11%), agoraphobia (11%), and MDD (10%). The prevalence of PTSD and MDD was higher among family members who were directly exposed to the disaster compared to those who were not (21 vs. 0%, and 25 vs. 3%). PGD was associated with functional impairment independent of other disorders.Conclusions Loss of a close family member in a natural disaster can have a substantial adverse long-term effect on mental health and everyday functioning.Depression and Anxiety 05/2014; 32(1). · 4.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper reviews the literature on the psychological consequences of sudden and violent losses, including disaster and military losses. It also reviews risk and resilience factors for grief and mental health and describes the effects and possible benefit of psychosocial interventions. The review shows gaps in the literature on grief and bereavement after sudden and violent deaths. Still, some preliminary conclusions can be made. Several studies show that a sudden and violent loss of a loved one can adversely affect mental health and grief in a substantial number of the bereaved. The prevalence of mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and prolonged grief disorder (PGD, also termed complicated grief) varies widely, however, from study to study. Also, mental health disorders are more elevated after sudden and violent losses than losses following natural deaths, and the trajectory of recovery seems to be slower. Several factors related to the circumstances of the loss may put the bereaved at heightened risk for mental distress. These factors may be differentially related to different outcomes; some increase the risk for PTSD, others for PGD. Given the special circumstances, bereavement following sudden and violent death may require different interventions than for loss from natural death. Recommendations for future research and clinical implications are discussed.Psychiatry Interpersonal & Biological Processes 03/2012; 75(1):76-97. · 3.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Previous research suggests that trauma may contribute to psychosis onset. In this study, we examine the effect of parental loss of a child on the onset of psychotic experience using data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, hypothesizing that child loss will precede the onset of psychosis and will be associated with a later age of onset. We likewise tested this association for six other psychiatric conditions to demonstrate specificity for psychosis. Individuals with a psychotic disorder who had lost a child had a significantly later age of onset, particularly in males, even when controlling for demographic variables and co-occurring substance abuse and psychiatric disorders. Psychosis onset frequently occurred within a year of child loss. No associations were found between child loss and onset of other psychiatric conditions, supporting specificity of the effect on psychosis. The presented findings implicate child loss as an etiological factor in the onset of psychosis, providing converging evidence with previous studies demonstrating associations between more widely studied trauma exposures (abuse, neglect, and assault) and psychosis.Psychiatry research. 08/2012;