HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Complicated Grief Among Military Service Members and Veterans Who Served After September 11, 2001

Article

A study which examines the prevalence of complicated grief (CG) amongst a sample of treatment seeking veterans who served after September 11, 2001.

Abstract

Minimal research is available on the prevalence and impact of complicated grief (CG) in military service members and veterans, despite high reported rates of loss in this population. The present study aimed to examine prevalence rates of CG in a sample of treatment‐seeking military service and members and veterans who served after September 11, 2001. Additionally, the study aimed to examine characteristics associated with CG as well as the association between CG and quality of life. In a sample of 622 military service members and veterans who served after September 11, 2001, 502 reported a significant loss (80.7%). Usable data were available for a total of 468 participants. Of these 468 participants, 30.3% (n = 142) met diagnostic criteria for CG, as defined by a score of 30 or more on the Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG; Prigerson et al., 1995). We conducted a series of t tests and chi‐square tests to examine the differences between individuals who met criteria for CG and those who did not. The presence of CG was associated with worse PTSD, d = 0.68, p < .001; depression, d = −1.10, p < .001; anxiety, d = −1.02, p < .001; stress, d = 0.99, p < .001; and quality of life, d = 0.76, p < .001. Multiple regression analyses examined the independent impact of CG on quality of life. Complicated grief was associated with poorer quality of life above and beyond PTSD, β = −.12, p = .017. In addition, in a separate regression, CG was associated with poorer quality of life above and beyond depression, β = −.13, p < .001. Overall, our findings highlight the impact of CG on this population, and have implications for assessment and treatment.

Full Reference

Charney, M. E. ; Bui, E. ; Sager, J. C. ; Ohye, B. Y. ; Goetter, E. M. ; Simon, N. M. (2018). Complicated Grief Among Military Service Members and Veterans Who Served After September 11, 2001. Journal of Traumatic Stress. Vol: 31 (1), p.157-62.