Inventory of Complicated Grief: a scale to measure maladaptive symptoms of loss

Psychiatry Res. 1995 Nov 29;59(1-2):65-79. doi: 10.1016/0165-1781(95)02757-2.


Certain symptoms of grief have been shown (a) to be distinct from bereavement-related depression and anxiety, and (b) to predict long-term functional impairments. We termed these symptoms of "complicated grief" and developed the Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG) to assess them. Data were derived from 97 conjugally bereaved elders who completed the ICG, along with other self-report scales measuring grief, depression, and background characteristics. Exploratory factor analyses indicated that the ICG measured a single underlying construct of complicated grief. High internal consistency and test-retest reliabilities were evidence of the ICG's reliability. The ICG total score's association with severity of depressive symptoms and a general measure of grief suggested a valid, yet distinct, assessment of emotional distress. Respondents with ICG scores > 25 were significantly more impaired in social, general, mental, and physical health functioning and in bodily pain than those with ICG scores < or = 25. Thus, the ICG, a scale with demonstrated internal consistency, and convergent and criterion validity, provides an easily administered assessment for symptoms of complicated grief.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Adjustment Disorders / psychology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bereavement*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Grief*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Widowhood / psychology*