Prevalence and comorbidity of prolonged grief disorder in a sample of caregivers of patients in a vegetative state

Psychiatr Q. 2012 Mar;83(1):65-73. doi: 10.1007/s11126-011-9183-1.

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and major depression are autonomous nosological entities. The present study aims at further analyzing the relationship among them in a sample of caregivers of patients in Vegetative State (VS) or Minimally Conscious State (MCS). We also investigated factors predicting the development of PGD. We sampled 40 Caregivers of patients in VS or MCS consecutively admitted to long-term care units. Caregivers were administered the PG-12, the Depression Questionnaire, the SCID I and the Davidson Trauma Scale. Six participants (15%) fulfilled the criteria for PGD, 25% (N = 10) for depression and 25% (N = 10) for PTSD. Although significant correlations emerged among symptom domains of the three disorders, no relevant association was found between a diagnosis of PGD, depression and PTSD. The severity of PTSD symptoms was found to be predictive of PGD. Clinical implications are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Caregivers / statistics & numerical data
  • Comorbidity / trends
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Grief*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Long-Term Care / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Persistent Vegetative State / therapy*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult