Background: Complicated grief (CG) has been proposed as a distinct diagnostic category in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). However, few epidemiological studies to date have measured CG in the general population.
Methods: Prevalence of CG, sociodemographic characteristics, and grief-related factors were examined in a representative population-based survey (N = 2520) through face-to-face contact. The sample included all bereaved subpopulations and all age groups from 14 to 95 years.
Results: The conditional prevalence of developing CG after major bereavement was 6.7%; the prevalence of CG in the general sample was 3.7%. Predictors of higher risk for developing CG were female gender, lower income (< €1250/month), older age (> 61 years), having lost a child or a spouse, or cancer as the cause of death.
Limitations: The sample of bereaved people was small, and some categories contained very few cases. Psychiatric comorbidities were not assessed in this study.
Conclusions: The results indicate that CG is prevalent in the population, and risk factors were identified.
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