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Type: Journal article
Title: Lessons from the 2004 Asian tsunami: nature, prevalence and determinants of prolonged grief disorder among tsunami survivors in South Indian coastal villages
Author: Rajkumar, A.
Mohan, T.
Tharyan, P.
Citation: International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 2015; 61(7):645-652
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0020-7640
Statement of
Anto P Rajkumar, Titus SP Mohan and Prathap Tharyan
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Prolonged grief disorder (PGD), previously called complicated grief, is associated with significant distress and long-term disability, and it may complicate assessments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after traumatic events. METHODS: In order to distinguish PGD from PTSD, we conducted a cross-sectional survey among tsunami survivors in five tsunami-affected coastal villages in India, 9 months after the Asian tsunami. RESULTS: Prevalence of PGD among 643 tsunami survivors was 14.2% (95% confidence interval (CI): 11.5%-16.9%) and among the 351 bereaved survivors was 25.9% (95% CI: 21.3%-30.5%). Spousal bereavement, extensive damage to homes, fewer years of education, and absence of tsunami-related physical injury differentiated those with PGD, after adjusting for potential confounders (p < .05). These factors were distinct from the factors associated with post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) among these survivors. Scores on the avoidance, hyper-arousal and intrusion subscales of the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were significantly lower in those with PGD alone than in those with PTSS or with both disorders. CONCLUSION: Our findings support the validity of PGD in a non-Western post-disaster community and its distinctness from PTSD. They have important public health implications in planning responses to natural disasters and for future revisions of diagnostic classifications.
Keywords: Grief; post-traumatic stress disorder; disasters; prevalence; epidemiology; regression analysis
Description: Published online before print February 16, 2015
Rights: © The Author(s) 2015
DOI: 10.1177/0020764015570713
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Psychiatry publications

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