A randomized controlled trial of a coping group intervention for adults with HIV who are AIDS bereaved: longitudinal effects on grief

Health Psychol. 2006 Sep;25(5):563-70. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.25.5.563.


The authors sought to study the longitudinal effects of a cognitive-behavioral group intervention for coping with AIDS bereavement among a diverse sample of adults who were HIV positive. Participants (N = 267) were randomly assigned to receive the 12-week intervention or individual therapy upon request. Measures were administered at baseline, postintervention, and 4-, 8-, and 12-month follow-ups. Longitudinal data were analyzed with linear mixed models to examine change in grief by condition across the study period and the effect of the intervention on grief through its interaction with psychiatric distress. The authors used the Grief Reaction Index to assess grief and the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised to assess global psychiatric distress. Participants in both conditions reported decreases in grief severity. However, among those with higher levels of psychiatric distress, participants in the group intervention had significantly lower grief severity scores compared with participants in the individual therapy condition. The long-term effectiveness of this AIDS-bereavement intervention for psychiatrically distressed people with HIV/AIDS supports the need for tailored interventions among those at risk for complicated grief responses.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bereavement*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Grief
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents