Maarten C Eisma

Maarten C Eisma
University of Groningen | RUG · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

84
Publications
31,714
Reads
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1,590
Citations
Introduction
I am broadly interested in the factors that lead to the development and persistence of health problems after major stressful life-events. My main research topics are: 1) the defining characteristics, structure, and measurement of prolonged grief, 2) identification of cognitive and behavioral risk- and protective factors in the development of prolonged grief (e.g. repetitive thought, approach and avoidance processes), 3) (internet-based) treatment of prolonged grief.
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - present
University of Groningen
Position
  • Professor
September 2014 - March 2015
Utrecht University
Position
  • Lecturer and postdoctoral researcher
June 2009 - September 2014
Utrecht University
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (84)
Article
Full-text available
Bereavement can precipitate symptoms of depression, prolonged grief disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Targeting repetitive negative thought (i.e., worry, rumination) in treatment may help reduce post-loss psychopathology. Yet, evidence on longitudinal associations of depressive rumination and worry with post-loss psychopathology symptoms...
Article
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Background: Anger is associated with dysfunction following potentially traumatic events. It is still unclear to what extent different types of anger directed at different targets are differentially related to poor outcomes. To advance knowledge in this area, the Posttraumatic Anger Questionnaire (PAQ) was designed, measuring anger directed at (i) t...
Article
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The death of a child is a devastating experience for most parents. Consequently, bereaved parents are at risk to develop physical and mental health problems, including prolonged grief disorder. Nevertheless, there is a lack of evaluated psychosocial interventions for bereaved parents. The primary aim of this study was to examine the feasibility of...
Article
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Background Acute grief appears more severe after COVID-19 deaths than natural deaths. Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) also appears prevalent following COVID-19 deaths. Researchers hypothesize that specific loss characteristics and pandemic-related circumstances may precipitate more severe grief following COVID-19 deaths compared to (other) natural d...
Article
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Background and objectives Romantic relationship breakups can lead to severe emotional disturbances including major depression. Anxious attachment and desired attachment with the ex-partner are hypothesized to elicit repetitive thought about the breakup and the former partner and attempts to reunite with (i.e. approach) the ex-partner, which fuel br...
Article
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Objective: Reporting of the content and delivery characteristics of comparator interventions in published articles is often incomplete. This study examines the feasibility and validity of two methods for collecting additional information on comparator interventions from trial authors. Methods & measures: In a systematic review of smoking cessati...
Chapter
Purpose: The death of a child can elicit enduring and intense parental grief. Additionally, as parents are both confronted with the loss of their child, interpersonal processes come into play. This study aimed to examine the change in reported levels of grief among bereaved parents individually and at a couple-level. We examined the differences in...
Article
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Domestic violence victims frequently visit health care facilities yet rarely disclose, so it is important to understand what factors are barriers and facilitators of disclosure. UK-based qualitative investigations into barriers and facilitators of disclosure in health care settings have suffered from a limited focus on ethnic minority women. Theref...
Article
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A correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-021-00281-6
Article
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Non-fatal traffic accidents may give rise to mental health problems, including posttraumatic stress (PTS) and depression. Clinical evidence suggests that victims may also experience grief reactions associated with the sudden changes and losses caused by such accidents. The aim of this study was to examine whether there are unique patterns of sympto...
Article
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Continuing bonds is a multifaceted process, encompassing perceptions, beliefs, illusions and hallucinations, and overt behaviors. We developed the Proximity-Seeking Behavior Scale (PSBS) to assess overt behavior to continue bonds with the deceased person. We had 694 bereaved adults complete an online survey. Exploratory and confirmatory factor anal...
Article
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Background: The International Classification of Diseases eleventh edition (ICD-11) has recently included prolonged grief disorder (PGD), a diagnosis characterized by severe, persistent, and disabling grief. The text revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5-TR) is scheduled to include a similar but distinct diag...
Article
Domestic violence has severe physical and mental health consequences, yet many women remain in abusive relationships. Domestic violence is generally more prevalent among ethnic minorities than among ethnic majorities. Yet, little is known about reasons to stay and leave within ethnic minority groups. Therefore, we examined reasons for staying in an...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction When grief reactions after bereavement are so intense that they impair daily functioning, a diagnosis of disturbed grief may apply. Slightly differing criteria-sets for disturbed grief are included in the ICD-11, the DSM-5, and its forthcoming text revision, DSM-5-TR. We examined psychometric properties of a new self-report measure, th...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Bereaved parents, who have lost a child, have an elevated risk to develop mental health problems, yet, few studies have evaluated the effect of psychosocial interventions developed for bereaved parents. Cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT), both face to face or digitally delivered, has shown to be an effective intervention for prolonged...
Article
Prolonged grief disorder's (PGD's) recent recognition as a psychiatric diagnosis has elicited concerns about stigmatization. Although prior research demonstrated that PGD elicits public stigma, moderators of this effect are unclear, and the effect requires replication in an English-speaking population. Therefore, we investigated the effects of PGD,...
Article
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Background and objectives The Dual Process Model of Coping with Bereavement holds that bereaved people who respond flexibly to loss-oriented stressors (i.e., relating to the loss; to the deceased person) and restoration-oriented stressors (i.e., secondary to loss; daily-life changes, taking on new roles) adapt better to bereavement. Despite growing...
Article
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People bereaved through road traffic accidents (RTAs) are at risk for severe and disabling grief (i.e., pathological grief). Knowledge about needs and use of bereavement care, including psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and support groups is limited. This study charted (correlates of) the needs and use of bereavement care in RTA bereaved people. Furt...
Article
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After bereavement, a significant minority experiences severe, persistent, and disabling grief, termed prolonged grief or complicated grief. Prolonged grief treatments may be enhanced by improving understanding of malleable risk factors in post-loss psychological adaptation. Repetitive negative thought (e.g., rumination, worry) constitutes such a ri...
Article
Full-text available
In this contribution, we respond to a letter in Omega: Journal of Death and Dying by Doka. Signatories of this letter to the President of the United States convey concerns that deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to a higher prevalence of severe and persistent grief, i.e., prolonged grief disorder. We support their call to action to direc...
Article
Counterfactual thoughts, mental simulations about how a situation may have turned out differently (i.e., “if only …, then …”), can reduce mental health after stressful life-events. However, how specific counterfactual thought types relate to post-loss mental health problems is unclear. We hypothesized that self-referenced upward counterfactuals (i....
Preprint
Introduction Bereaved parents have elevated risk to develop mental health problems, yet, few studies have evaluated the effect of psychosocial interventions developed for bereaved parents. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), both face-to-face or digitally delivered, has shown to be an effective intervention for prolonged grief symptoms. Self-help m...
Article
Full-text available
Context Pioneering empirical studies show that people bereaved due to COVID-19 experience elevated prolonged grief, posttraumatic stress, anxiety, and depressive symptom levels, which relate to functional impairment. However, studies focused on Western samples and multivariate analyses of relations between potential risk factors and mental health i...
Article
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Background Whereas the majority of bereaved persons recover from their grief without professional assistance, a minority develops pathological grief reactions. Etiological models postulate that dysfunctional cognitions may perpetuate such reactions. The Grief Cognitions Questionnaire (GCQ) assesses thoughts after bereavement in nine interrelated do...
Article
Background There are now over 800,000 registered deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. Researchers have suggested that COVID-19 death characteristics (e.g., intensive care admission, unexpected death) and circumstances (e.g., secondary stressors, social isolation) will precipitate a worldwide increase of prolonged grief disorder (PGD) and...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic violence victims are in frequent contact with the healthcare service yet rarely disclose. Therefore, it is critical to understand victims' experiences and perceptions regarding disclosure in healthcare settings. The goal of this review is to provide an updated synthesis of qualitative research identifying barriers and facilitators, advice...
Article
Objective Studies in countries where assisted dying is legal show that bereaved people express concern over the potential for social disapproval and social stigma because of the manner of death. There are indications that voluntary assisted dying is judged as less acceptable if the deceased is younger. A vignette-based experiment was used to determ...
Article
Prolonged grief disorder, characterized by severe, persistent, and disabling grief, has recently been included in the International Classification of Diseases-11 (ICD-11). Emotional disturbances are central to such complicated grief responses. Accordingly, emotion regulation is assumed critical in the development, persistence and treatment of compl...
Article
Full-text available
Context Grief researchers are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic will precipitate increases in severe, persistent and disabling grief, termed prolonged grief disorder (PGD) or persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD). We recently demonstrated that higher grief levels are experienced after COVID-19-related bereavement than natural bereavemen...
Article
Full-text available
The recent introduction of prolonged grief disorder (PGD) as a diagnostic category may cause negative social reactions (i.e. public stigma). Vignette experiments demonstrate that persons with both PGD symptoms and a PGD diagnosis elicit more public stigma than persons who experience integrated grief. However, the strength of the influence of the di...
Article
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Introduction The traumatic death of a loved one, such as death due to a traffic accident, can precipitate persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD) and comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Waitlist-controlled trials have shown that grief-specific cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for such men...
Article
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Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) interventions are effective in alleviating disturbed grief. CBT is typically delivered face-to-face. Government policy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (quarantine and social distancing) may impede access to face-to-face therapy. Psychotherapy is now widely delivered remotely. In this article, various poin...
Article
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Objective(s) Yearning, a hallmark of grief disorders, relates to rumination and potentially to cognitive avoidance. We developed an 8‐item short form of the only existing validated yearning measure, the Yearning in Situations of Loss Scale (YSL), to improve its validity and administration ease. Method Cross‐sectional surveys were conducted among be...
Article
Full-text available
Severe, persistent and disabling grief occurs among a sizable minority experiencing bereavement, with diagnostic manuals newly including complicated grief (CG) disorders. Sleep disturbances/disorders have been established as worsening affective and stress-related conditions. However, the role of sleep difficulties in bereavement and CG has not rece...
Article
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Aims To estimate the strengths of associations between use of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) and clusters of BCTs in behavioural smoking cessation interventions and comparators with smoking cessation rates. Method Systematic review and meta‐regression of biochemically verified smoking cessation rates on BCTs in interventions and comparators in...
Article
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Repetitive negative thought plays an important role in the maintenance of mental health problems following bereavement. To date, researchers have primarily focused on rumination (i.e., repetitive thought about negative events and/or negative emotions) following loss, yet the interest in worry (i.e., repetitive thought about uncertain future events)...
Article
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Background: Prior network analyses demonstrated that the death of a loved one potentially precedes specific depression symptoms, primarily loneliness, which in turn links to other depressive symptoms. In this study, we extend prior research by comparing depression symptom network structures following two types of marital disruption: bereavement ver...
Article
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Aims: To examine variability and effectiveness of interventions provided to comparator (control) groups in smoking cessation trials. Methods: Systematic review with meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of behavioral interventions for smoking cessation, with or without stop-smoking medication. We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addi...
Article
Full-text available
Despite its importance, underreporting of the active content of experimental and comparator interventions in the published literature has not been previously examined for behavioural trials. We assessed completeness and variability in reporting in 142 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of behavioural interventions for smoking cessation published b...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Prior network analyses demonstrated that the death of a loved one potentially precedes specific depression symptoms, primarily loneliness, which in turn links to other depressive symptoms. In this study, we extend prior research by comparing depression symptom network structures following two types of marital disruption: bereavement vers...
Article
Full-text available
Background Bereaved parents may be at higher risk to develop persistent, severe and disabling grief, termed prolonged grief. Grief rumination, repetitive thinking about the causes and consequences of the loss, is a malleable cognitive process that maintains prolonged grief. Grief rumination can be measured with the Utrecht Grief Rumination Scale (U...
Article
Full-text available
Background and objectives: Major negative life-events including bereavement can precipitate perceived positive life-changes, termed posttraumatic growth (PTG). While traditionally considered an adaptive phenomenon, it has been suggested that PTG represents a maladaptive coping response similar to cognitive avoidance. To clarify the function of PTG,...
Article
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Background: Studies on mental health following disasters have primarily focused on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), yet severe, enduring and disabling grief (i.e., complicated grief, CG) also appears relevant. Objective: The present study examines symptom profiles of PTSD and CG among bereaved Sichuan earthquake survivors one year after the di...
Article
Full-text available
Given the severe mental health consequences that may ensue after bereavement it is crucial to better understand malleable cognitive factors that are associated with poorer bereavement outcomes. Grief rumination (i.e. repetitive thinking about the causes and consequences of a loss) is a malleable cognitive process that is concurrently and longitudin...
Article
Prolonged grief disorder (PGD), characterized by severe, persistent and disabling grief, is newly included in the International Classification of Diseases 11 (ICD-11). Receiving a PGD diagnosis could lead to stigmatizing public reactions (i.e. public stigma), yet research on this topic is limited. Additionally, while there is evidence that experien...
Article
Background The behavior change technique (BCT) taxonomy v1 is often used in systematic reviews for identifying active components of interventions. Its utility could be enhanced by linking BCTs to specific target behaviors and qualifying BCT delivery style. Purpose To determine whether behavioral targets and delivery styles of BCTs can be coded rel...
Chapter
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Dit hoofdstuk beschrijft elementen uit een behandelprotocol voor online exposure bij gecompliceerde rouw. Het begint met een beschrijving van de theoretische achtergrond voor het gebruik van exposure en illustreert eveneens verschillende oefeningen aan de hand van een casusbeschrijving.
Article
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Persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD) is a condition for further study in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5. Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) will likely be included in the International Classification of Diseases’-11. While it has been argued that PCBD and PGD cover the same diagnostic entity, their symptom count d...
Article
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Background: Bereavement can result in severe mental health problems, including persistent, severe and disabling grief symptoms, termed complicated grief. Grief rumination (i.e., repetitive thought about the causes and consequences of the loss) is a malleable cognitive risk-factor in adjustment to bereavement. The Utrecht Grief Rumination Scale (UG...
Article
Prolonged grief disorder (PGD), characterized by severe, persistent and disabling grief, is being considered for inclusion in the International Classification of Diseases’ 11 (ICD-11) and a related disorder, Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder (PCBD), is included for further investigation in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disor...
Article
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Background The disappearance of a loved one is a unique type of loss, also termed “ambiguous loss”, which may heighten the risk for developing prolonged grief (PG), depression, and posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms. Little is known about protective and risk factors for psychopathology among relatives of missing persons. A potential protective fac...
Article
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Objective: Poverty is related to increased grief-related mental health problems, leading some to suggest bereavement counseling should be tailored to income. However, information about accessibility and effectiveness of such counseling programs serving low-income households is scarce. This longitudinal study therefore investigated the association b...
Presentation
Beyond BCTs and published materials: reliability coding of behaviours and application methods within smoking cessation.
Article
Full-text available
This controlled, longitudinal investigation tested the effectiveness of a bereavement counselling model for adults on reducing complicated grief (CG) symptoms. Participants (N = 344; 79% female; mean age: 49.3 years) were adult residents of Scotland who were bereaved of a close relation or partner, experiencing elevated levels of CG, and/or risks o...
Research
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Making results of smoking cessation trials more useful to practice and policy: identifying the effective behavioural components of smoking cessation support provided to intervention and control groups by applying innovative methods of evidence syntheses. PROSPERO 2015:CRD42015025251 Available from What are effective behavioural change techniques pr...
Article
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This contribution provides an overview of rumination (i.e., thinking repetitively and recurrently about negative events and/or negative emotions) in adjustment to bereavement. First, we summarise a growing literature on rumination and mental health outcomes of bereavement. Next, we compare two main theories explaining the maladaptive effects of rum...
Article
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Introduction Ruminative (abstract verbal) processing during recall of aversive autobiographical memories may serve to dampen their short-term affective impact. Experimental studies indeed demonstrate that verbal processing of non-autobiographical material and positive autobiographical memories evokes weaker affective responses than imagery-based pr...
Article
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Background and objectives: Repetitive thought is a trans-diagnostic risk factor for development of psychopathology. Research on repetitive thought in bereaved individuals has focused primarily on clarifying the role of rumination, repetitive thinking about past negative events and/or negative emotions. While detrimental effects of rumination have...
Article
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Purpose of review: There is increasing recognition that a minority of bereaved persons experiences persistent and disabling grief symptoms, also termed complicated grief. We review currently proposed criteria for complicated grief in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5) and the International Statistical Classification...
Article
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Background: Systematic reviews of behaviour change interventions for smoking cessation vary in scope, quality, and applicability. The current review aims to generate more accurate and useful findings by (1) a detailed analysis of intervention elements that change behaviour (i.e. behaviour change techniques (BCTs)) and potential moderators of behav...
Article
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We performed two studies in individuals with sleep problems to investigate trait, daytime, and nighttime repetitive thinking as risk factors for insomnia. In Study 1, 139 participants completed questionnaires on worry, rumination, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and a sleep diary. Trait rumination and trait worry were not associated with sleep impai...
Article
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This study examined the effectiveness and feasibility of therapist-guided internet-delivered exposure (EX) and behavioral activation (BA) for complicated grief and rumination. Forty-seven bereaved individuals with elevated levels of complicated grief and grief rumination were randomly assigned to three conditions: EX (N = 18), BA (N = 17), or a wai...
Article
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Several trials have demonstrated the efficacy of online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia. However, few studies have examined putative mechanisms of change based on the cognitive model of insomnia. Identification of modifiable mechanisms by which the treatment works may guide efforts to further improve the efficacy of insomnia treatme...