Background: Few epidemiological studies have examined complicated grief in the general population, especially in Asian countries. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the prevalence and predictors of complicated grief among community dwelling individuals in Japan. Methods: A questionnaire survey regarding grief and related issues was conducted on community dwelling individuals aged 40-79 who were randomly sampled from census tracts. Complicated grief was assessed using the Brief Grief Questionnaire. Stepwise logistic regression analysis was conducted in order to identify predictors of complicated grief. Results: Data from 969 responses (response rate, 39.9%) were subjected to analysis. The analysis revealed 22 (2.4%) respondents with complicated grief and 272 (22.7%) with subthreshold complicated grief. Respondents who were found to be at a higher risk for developing complicated grief had lost their spouse, lost a loved one unexpectedly, lost a loved one due to stroke or cardiac disease, lost a loved one at a hospice, care facility or at home, or spent time with the deceased everyday in the last week of life. Limitations: Limitations of this study include the small sample size, the use of self-administered questionnaire, and the fact that the diagnoses of complicated grief were not based on robust diagnostic criteria. Conclusions: The point prevalence of complicated grief within 10 years of bereavement was 2.4%. Complicated grief was maintained without significant decrease up to 10 years after bereavement. When subthreshold complicated grief is included, the prevalence of complicated grief boosts up to a quarter of the sample, therefore, routine screening for complicated grief among the bereaved is desired. Clinicians should pay particular attention to the bereaved families with abovementioned risk factors in order to identify people at risk for future development of complicated grief.
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