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Associations Between Prolonged Grief Disorder, Depression, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Anxiety in Rwandan Genocide Survivors

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A number of studies have demonstrated that symptoms of prolonged grief disorder (PGD) represent a symptom cluster distinct from bereavement-related depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The aim of the present study was to confirm and extend these findings using the most recent criteria defining PGD. The authors interviewed a total of 400 orphaned or widowed survivors of the Rwandan genocide. The syndromes were strongly linked to each other with a high comorbidity. Principal axis factoring resulted in the emergence of 4 different factors. The symptoms of depression, along with the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms of PGD, loaded on the first factor, symptoms of anxiety on the second factor, symptoms of PTSD on the third factor, and the separation distress symptoms of PGD on the fourth factor. This indicates that the concept of PGD includes symptoms that are conceptually related to depression. However, the symptom cluster of separation distress presents a grief-specific dimension that may surface unrelated to depressive symptoms.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology,University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany 2: Department of Psychology,University of Butare, Butare, Rwanda 3: Department of Psychology, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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