Adaptive regulation of positive and negative affect after the loss of a loved one may foster recovery. In two studies, using similar methods but different samples, we explored the association between positive (i.e., dampening and enhancing) and negative (i.e., rumination) affect regulation strategies and symptoms levels of postloss psychopathology. Study 1 used data from 187 people confronted with the death of a loved one. In study 2, the sample consisted of 134 relatives of long-term missing persons. Participants completed self-reports tapping prolonged grief, depression, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and affect regulation strategies. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that both negative and positive affect regulation strategies explained significant amounts of variance symptom levels in both samples. In line with previous work, our results suggest that negative and positive affect regulation strategies relate to postloss psychopathology. Future research should explore how both affect regulation strategies may adequately be addressed in treatment.
Objective/Background: About 15% of grievers experience complicated grief. We determined cross-sectional and longitudinal relations of grief and complicated grief with sleep duration and quality in the general population of elderly adults.
Participants: We included 5,421 men and women from the prospective population-based Rotterdam Study.
Methods: The Inventory of Complicated Grief was used to define grief and complicated grief. We assessed sleep with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.
Results: After 6 years, 3,511 (80% of survivors) underwent the follow-up interview. Complicated grief was cross-sectionally associated with shorter sleep duration and lower sleep quality. These associations were explained by the presence of depressive symptoms. The prospective analyses showed that sleep duration and sleep quality did not decline further during follow-up of persons who experienced grief or complicated grief.
Conclusion: In community-dwelling, middle-aged and older adults, persons with normal and complicated grief had both a shorter sleep duration and a lower sleep quality, mainly explained by depressive symptoms. However, prospective analyses showed that sleep quality and sleep duration do not decline further in persons with normal grief and complicated grief.
Termination of pregnancy after diagnosis of fetal anomaly (TOPFA) is a contested issue and stigma may negatively impact affected women's psychological reactions. This study examined the influence of perceived and internalized stigma on women's long-term adjustment to a TOPFA. One hundred forty-eight women whose TOPFA dated back 1 to 7 years responded to self-report questionnaires. The associations between perceived stigma at the time of the TOPFA, current internalized stigma and symptoms of grief, trauma and depression were modeled using multiple linear regression. The proportion of participants reporting scores above the cutoffs on the respective scale was 17.6% for grief, 18.9% for posttraumatic stress, and 10.8% for depression. After controlling for time since the TOPFA, pre-TOPFA mental health and obstetric variables, higher levels of current internalized stigma were related to higher levels of grief, trauma, and depression. Mediation analyses suggested that the effect of perceived stigma at the time of the TOPFA on symptoms of grief and trauma was mediated by current internalized stigma, but the cross-sectional design limited causal interpretation of results. Internalized stigma is associated with long-term psychological distress following a TOPFA. Perceived stigma at the time of the TOPFA may contribute to increased trauma and grief symptomatology, but results need to be validated in longitudinal studies. Health care providers and public initiatives should aim at reducing stigma among affected women.
This aims of this longitudinal study were to identify the risk factors of and depressive mood in caregivers who received hospice care 6 months after their patients’ death, and the cutoff pint of the bereavement risk index, as well as, the prevalence of persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD). There were 30.28 and 4.59% of caregivers with depressive mood and PCBD, respectively. The risk factors included resistance to the reality of patients’ death, anger, self-blame and guilt, support networks, and coping. The cutoff points of total bereavement risk index and five-item short form were 10/11 and 9/10, respectively.
Research on the association between complicated grief (CG), hope, and posttraumatic growth (PTG) among bereaved youth is limited. Measures of CG, depression, hope, and PTG were completed by 85 youth (aged 7–18 years). Results indicated a strong positive relationship between CG and depressive symptoms, an inverse relationship between hope and depressive symptoms, and a moderate positive relationship between hope and PTG. There was no significant association between CG and hope or between CG and PTG. Higher levels of CG and lower levels of hope independently predicted greater depressive symptoms, but PTG did not. Results have implications for assessing positive outcomes in bereaved youth.
Caregiving in the last years of life is associated with increased depression and negative health outcomes for surviving spouses, many of whom are themselves in poor health. Yet it is unclear how often spouses are caregiving alone, how they differ from supported spouses, and whether lack of support affects postbereavement outcomes. We hypothesized that spouses who were solo caregivers-that is, the only caregivers (paid or unpaid) who provided assistance with a spouse's self-care or household activities-would experience more depression after bereavement than supported spouses would. Using information from the Health and Retirement Study, we found that 55 percent of the spouses of community-dwelling married people with disability were solo caregivers. Solo caregiving was even common among people who cared for spouses with dementia and those with adult children living close by. Bereavement outcomes did not differ between solo and supported caregiving spouses. Caregiving spouses are often isolated and may benefit from greater support, particularly during the final years before bereavement. While some state and federal policy proposals aim to systematically recognize and assess caregivers, further innovations in care delivery and reimbursement are needed to adequately support seriously ill older adults and their caregivers. Ultimately, the focus of serious illness care must be expanded from the patient to the family unit.
OBJECTIVE: To assess differences in prolonged grief, depression, posttraumatic stress and sleep disturbances in bereaved parents across years since loss (1-5 years) and by gender, and to assess potential interactive effects of time since loss and gender on bereavement outcomes.
METHODS: This study examined symptom levels of Prolonged Grief Disorder, depression, posttraumatic stress and insomnia in bereaved parents. A sample, including 133 mothers and 92 fathers who had lost a child to cancer 1-5 years previously, subdivided to five subsamples, one for each year since loss. ANOVA was used to assess differences in symptom levels, related to years since loss and gender.
RESULTS: Regardless of how many years had passed since the loss, symptom levels of prolonged grief, depression, posttraumatic stress symptoms and insomnia, were elevated in all subsamples. Mothers showed higher symptom levels of prolonged grief, depression and posttraumatic stress than fathers. However, no significant interaction effects were found between years since loss and gender on any of the symptom levels.
CONCLUSIONS: Cancer-bereaved mothers and fathers are vulnerable to prolonged grief and psychological symptoms up to five years after the death of their child. Findings highlight that bereaved parents may need long-term support and the results deserve further attention in research and clinical care.
The objectives of the study were to evaluate the relationship between depression, preparatory grief, and loss of dignity in patients with advanced cancer and whether depression has a mediator and/or a mediator role between preparatory grief and dignity. The participants were 120 patients with advanced cancer who completed the Greek version of the Patient Dignity Inventory, the Greek Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Preparatory Grief in Advanced Cancer Patients questionnaire. Depression was highly correlated with preparatory grief and loss of dignity. Additionally, strong relationship was found between preparatory grief and loss of dignity. Mediation analyses revealed that preparatory grief influenced loss of dignity as well as indirectly by its effect on depression. However, there was not any affect of depression as moderator. The effect of depression on preparatory grief in patients with advanced cancer and dignity emphasizing the need for further research to confirm the current relationship as well as the need for treatment of depression.
Mechanical circulatory support (MCS) is an increasingly frequent treatment option for managing end-stage heart failure. Devices are implanted either as destination therapy or as bridge to transplant. Patients undergoing this treatment can experience significant symptoms of depression in addition to stresses associated with chronic illness. After implantation, some patients may decide that the burdens of an MCS device outweigh the benefits. Physician asked to assist in deactivating MCS devices in the face of depression must ensure appropriate assessment, informed consent, and multidisciplinary involvement to minimize suffering and maximize patient quality of life.
OBJECTIVE: To describe children's anxiety, depression, behaviors, and school performance at 2-13 months after sibling neonatal/pediatric intensive care unit (NICU/PICU) or emergency department (ED) death and compare these outcomes by child age, sex, race/ethnicity, whether the child saw their sibling in the NICU/PICU/ED, and attended the sibling's funeral.
STUDY DESIGN: Children in 71 families were recruited for this longitudinal study from 4 children's hospitals and 14 other Florida hospitals. Children rated anxiety (Spence Children's Anxiety Scale) and depression (Children's Depression Inventory); parents rated child behaviors (Child Behavior Checklist) and reported school performance (detentions, suspensions, requested parent-teacher meetings) at 2, 4, 6, and 13 months post-sibling death. Analyses included repeated measures-ANOVA, t-tests, and 1-way ANOVA.
RESULTS: In total, 132 children and 96 parents participated. More children were female (58%), black (50%), and school-age (72%). Of the children, 43% had elevated anxiety and 6% had elevated depression over 13 months post-sibling death. Child-rated anxiety was higher for girls and black vs white children. Child-rated anxiety and depression were lower if they saw their sibling in the NICU/PICU/ED before and/or after the death, and/or attended the funeral. Teens were more withdrawn than school-age children at all time points. Children who did not see their deceased sibling in the NICU/PICU/ED after death had more requests for parent-teacher conferences.
CONCLUSIONS: Children's anxiety was more common than depression, especially in girls and black children. Children who saw their siblings in the NICU/PICU/ED before/after death and/or attended funeral services had lower anxiety and depression over the first 13 months after sibling death.
OBJECTIVES: Incident depression, occurring after an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in never depressed patients, exerts a negative effect on the cardiac prognosis. Nonetheless only a few studies have evaluated the risk factor for incident depression and, particularly, no study have investigated the role of personality disorders. Therefore, the aim of this study is to verify if personality disorders represent a risk for incident depression in patients at their first ACS.
METHOD: The study sample was selected among never depressed patients who were consecutively admitted to the Coronary Intensive Care Unit, from January 2009 to March 2012, for the first ACS. The study sample included 262 patients. The presence of depressive disorder was assessed with the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV criteria), whereas its severity was evaluated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Evaluations were collected at baseline and at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12 and 24 months of follow-up. Moreover, at baseline personality disorders were investigated with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II disorders.
RESULTS: Out of 262 subjects, a depressive disorder was diagnosed in 56 patients (21%). At baseline risk factors for incident depression were being widowed, having a distress reaction and narcissistic personality traits.
CONCLUSION: Clinicians should keep in mind these characteristics when facing patients at their first ACS, given the detrimental effect of depression on cardiac prognosis. A psychological support should prevent the onset of incident depression in these patients.
Background: Previous literature suggests that ketamine may be an effective drug in the palliative care population as this drug has been shown to treat multiple conditions that are common in these patients.
Objective: This review examines the efficacy of ketamine for the treatment of depression and physical pain in palliative care patients.
Methods: Eleven studies were included on the topic of ketamine as an antidepressant in the palliative care population. Additionally, 5 RCT studies were included on the topic of physical pain in this population.
Results: All 11 studies, including one RCT, found antidepressant effects of ketamine in this patient population. Ketamine's effect on treating physical pain was mixed with the largest and most recent RCTs suggesting no significant analgesic effect.
Discussion: This review suggests that starting qualified patients on intravenous (IV) ketamine and switching to oral or intranasal administration may be the most effective and convenient for treating depression, especially for patients who wish to receive treatment at home. Significant analgesia was found in patients who received epidural or intrathecal ketamine as well as in one study using intravenous administration. More research is necessary to determine which palliative care patients may benefit from ketamine treatment.
Grief research has typically centered on one time point, without considering the impact of multiple losses over time. In this study, 546 bereaved emerging adults were divided into three groups: those who experienced a recent loss (0-2 years ago), a past loss (>2 years ago), or a combination of both recent and past losses. Differences between the groups on resilience, depression, and grief symptomatology were examined. Those who had experienced both losses (recent and past) and recent losses endorsed significantly more grief symptoms than those in the past loss group. Findings highlight how multiple losses impact grief.
Childhood maltreatment dysregulates an individual’s physiological response to stress, increasing reactivity to stressors across the lifespan. Given the prevalence and impact of bereavement, we examined whether the association between childhood maltreatment and depression was exacerbated by spousal bereavement. We identified an interaction between childhood maltreatment and bereavement using linear regression analysis (B = 0.79, p < .001). A simple slopes test indicated a positive association between childhood maltreatment and depressive symptoms among those who were bereaved (B = 0.86, p < .001), but such association did not emerge among those who were not bereaved (B = 0.06, p = .60).
OBJECTIVES: This study examined trajectories of emotional functioning in three domains (depressive symptoms, emotional and social loneliness) for individuals who experienced spousal bereavement, and investigated cross-domain adaptation. We hypothesized that emotional difficulties after bereavement would be more detectable in emotional loneliness than depressive symptoms or social loneliness.
METHOD: Using latent class growth analysis, we modelled changes in depressive symptoms, emotional loneliness and social loneliness from 12 years pre- to 12 years post-bereavement on data from 686 older adults to identify trajectories indicating adaptive and maladaptive functioning in each domain.
RESULTS: Most participants reported depressive symptoms below the clinically relevant threshold by showing a resilient (15.5%) or a slightly elevated (53.5%) trajectory post-bereavement. One-third (31%) reported clinically relevant depressive symptoms. More than half of the sample reported emotional loneliness post-bereavement, varying form prolonged (17%), increasing and prolonged (28.3%), and chronically high (8.9%) levels. Remaining participants displayed resilience (13.5%) or recovery (32.3%). Social loneliness showed four trajectories: very low and resilient (43.3%), low and resilient (27.5%), increasing (20.2%), and chronically high (9%) levels. One third of participants maintained adaptive, whereas 12% displayed maladaptive, functioning across all domains post-bereavement.
DISCUSSION: An increase in emotional loneliness was the most commonly observed change after spousal bereavement. This highlights the central role of emotional loneliness in depression after bereavement.
INTRODUCTION: It is generally accepted that depression, affecting the quality of life, is a serious and common complication in patients with cancer. Given that there is no integrated study on this topic in Iran, the present study sought to investigate the prevalence of depression in patients with cancer by a systematic review and meta-analysis.
METHODS: To meet the study objectives, all English and Persian papers published from 2000 to January 2018 were systematically collected and the data were extracted for analysis.
RESULTS: There were 14 studies which were selected on the basis of the inclusion and exclusion criteria. A total number of 2831 patients with cancer had participated in the studies. The prevalence of depression among Iranian patients with cancer was 35% (95% CI 16% to 70%) based on random effects model. Among various types of cancer, the highest prevalence of depression appeared to patients suffering from breast cancer.
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of depression among patients with cancer in Iran was higher than the developed countries. As depression affects the quality of life of patients with cancer, the results can help policymakers and service providers in planning to reduce the prevalence of depression.
The use of complementary and alternative therapies is growing year after year, and Reiki therapy takes a place of choice. Reiki therapy, classed as a biofield energy therapy, raises the question of validity when applied to patients, especially in palliative care. The purpose of this review is to highlight the effects of Reiki therapy on pain, anxiety/depression and quality of life of patients, specifically in palliative care. The current article indicates that Reiki therapy is useful for relieving pain, decreasing anxiety/depression and improving quality of life in several conditions. Due to the small number of studies in palliative care, we were unable to clearly identify the benefits of Reiki therapy, but preliminary results tend to show some positive effects of Reiki therapy for the end-of-life population. These results should encourage teams working in palliative care to conduct more studies to determine the benefits of Reiki therapy on pain, anxiety/depression and quality of life in palliative care.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: People with cancer commonly experience persistent pain and psychological distress. Interventions are needed which address the multifactorial nature of pain and depression, yet few studies have examined the impact of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for cancer-related pain and depression.
RECENT FINDINGS: MBIs for cancer-related pain and depression can be effectively delivered across a range of modalities and show promise for alleviating mood and some physical health symptoms, although not always pain. There is some evidence for the cost-effectiveness of MBIs.
SUMMARY: The field of MBIs would benefit from greater methodological rigour and investigation into a broader range of cancer populations to increase the knowledge base and in turn the evidence base on which interventions can be developed to the benefit to patients with cancer-related pain and depression.
BACKGROUND: While several internet interventions target severe prolonged grief symptoms after bereavement, no randomised controlled trial investigated interventions for prolonged grief after separation/divorce.
METHODS: This randomised controlled trial aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a guided internet-based self-help intervention for prolonged grief symptoms after spousal bereavement or separation/divorce compared to a wait-list control group. Furthermore, we analysed whether the intervention was also efficacious for participants with milder grief symptoms.
RESULTS: A total of 110 participants were mainly recruited by newspaper articles. Average age was 51 years, 77% were separated/divorced, 79% were female. Dropout rate was 11%. Compared to the control group, the intervention resulted in significant reductions in grief (d = 0.81), depression (d = 0.59), psychopathological distress (d = 0.39) (primary outcomes), embitterment (d = 0.37), loneliness (d = 0.37) and an increase in life satisfaction (d = -0.41) (secondary outcomes). These gains were maintained over three months. Improvements were similar among widowed and separated/divorced participants as well as among participants with low, medium or high levels of grief at baseline.
LIMITATIONS: Limitations include the self-selective sample and a rather small number of widowed participants.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate that an internet intervention based on models for coping with grief after bereavement was not only beneficial for widowed but also separated or divorced participants. Furthermore, also participants with lower levels of grief at baseline benefitted from the intervention. This corroborates that indicated prevention efforts for grief are efficacious.