An Overview of Complicated Grief Terminology and Diagnostic Criteria
Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement
Computing, Health and Science
Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine
This article sets the scene for the current debate on the concept of complicated grief. Issues identified with diagnosis of individuals with complicated grief include concerns about misuse of the term, distinctions between normal and complicated grief and fears regarding stigmatisation associated with potential DSM-V classification of complicated grief. Use of the term as described by Prigerson and colleagues reflects current best evidence, addresses concerns related to definitional error and would assist in progressing research and clinical practice in a more consistent manner if this were used by clinicians, researchers, health policy makers and educators. Such progress will be further assisted when consensus on the diagnostic criteria for complicated grief is achieved.