Psychotherapy :: Treatment of Debilitating Grief
An NIMH-sponsored randomized controlled trial offers physicians new guidance on what treatments are effective for complicated grief, a disorder associated with negative (and sometimes debilitating) health consequences.
Katherine Shear, M.D., and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh publish their findings in the June 1, 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (abstract of study available from PubMed).
The investigators compared two short-term talk therapies – interpersonal psychotherapy and a targeted treatment they developed specifically for complicated grief – in a group of 83 women and 12 men.
Both treatments eased symptoms in some patients, but the targeted therapy response rate was twice as successful (51 percent). The investigators conclude that complicated grief is a specific condition in need of a specific treatment.