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Grief, Bereavement, and Coping With Loss (PDQ®): Supportive care - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Treatment

Table 1. Pharmacological Intervention Studies of Bereavement-related Depression

Reference CitationStudy TypeSubjectsAge (y)TreatmentResults
HDRS = Hamilton Depression Rating Scale; IPT = interpersonal psychotherapy; NTP = nortriptyline; PLA = placebo; SR = sustained release.
a Improvement based on the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) rating after review of the decline in HDRS score.
b See text for details.
[12]Open label8 women, 2 menMean not reported; range, 26–65Desipramine7 subjects much improveda; 2 subjects minimally improved; 1 dropout
[13]Open label8 women, 5 menMean, 71.1; range, 61–78NortriptylineMean HDRS scores decreased 67.9%; no dropouts
[14]Open label17 women, 5 menMean, 63.5; range, 45–83Bupropion SRMean HDRS scores decreased 54%; 8 dropouts
[15]bRandomized controlled58 women, 22 menMean range for 4 groups, 63.2–69.5Nortriptyline vs. placebo vs. NTP+IPT or PLA+IPTNTP statistically significant compared to PLA; NTP+IPT group had lowest attrition rate

References:

  1. Larson DG, Hoyt WT: What has become of grief counseling? An evaluation of the empirical foundations of the new pessimism. Prof Psychol Res Pr 38 (4): 347-55, 2007.
  2. Bonanno GA, Lilienfeld SO: Let's be realistic: when grief counseling is effective and when it's not. Prof Psychol Res Pr 39 (3): 377-8, 2008.
  3. Hoyt WT, Larson DG: A realistic approach to drawing conclusions from the scientific literature: response to Bonanno and Lilienfeld. Prof Psychol Res Pr 39 (3): 378-9, 2008.
  4. Jordan JR, Neimeyer RA: Does grief counseling work? Death Stud 27 (9): 765-86, 2003.
  5. Mrazek PJ, Haggerty RJ, eds.: Reducing Risks for Mental Disorders: Frontiers for Preventive Intervention Research. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1994.
  6. Kissane DW, Lichtenthal WG: Family focused grief therapy: from palliative care into bereavement. In: Stroebe MS, Hansson RO, Schut H, et al., eds.: Handbook of Bereavement Research and Practice: Advances in Theory and Intervention. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2008, pp 485-510.
  7. Kissane DW, Bloch S: Family Focused Grief Therapy: A Model of Family-Centered Care During Palliative Care and Bereavement. Buckingham, United Kingdom: Open University Press, 2002.
  8. Kissane DW, McKenzie M, Bloch S, et al.: Family focused grief therapy: a randomized, controlled trial in palliative care and bereavement. Am J Psychiatry 163 (7): 1208-18, 2006.
  9. Shear K, Frank E, Houck PR, et al.: Treatment of complicated grief: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 293 (21): 2601-8, 2005.
  10. Weissman MM, Markowitz JC, Klerman GL: Comprehensive Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2000.
  11. Boelen PA, de Keijser J, van den Hout MA, et al.: Treatment of complicated grief: a comparison between cognitive-behavioral therapy and supportive counseling. J Consult Clin Psychol 75 (2): 277-84, 2007.
  12. Jacobs SC, Nelson JC, Zisook S: Treating depressions of bereavement with antidepressants. A pilot study. Psychiatr Clin North Am 10 (3): 501-10, 1987.
  13. Pasternak RE, Reynolds CF 3rd, Schlernitzauer M, et al.: Acute open-trial nortriptyline therapy of bereavement-related depression in late life. J Clin Psychiatry 52 (7): 307-10, 1991.
  14. Zisook S, Shuchter SR, Pedrelli P, et al.: Bupropion sustained release for bereavement: results of an open trial. J Clin Psychiatry 62 (4): 227-30, 2001.
  15. Reynolds CF 3rd, Miller MD, Pasternak RE, et al.: Treatment of bereavement-related major depressive episodes in later life: a controlled study of acute and continuation treatment with nortriptyline and interpersonal psychotherapy. Am J Psychiatry 156 (2): 202-8, 1999.
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Last Updated: February 25, 2014
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