Background: Bereavement groups are believed to be beneficial as preventive interventions to reduce the development of complicated grief for people at risk after the death of a significant other. This study aimed to investigate whether measurable effects on grief, anxiety, and depression could be detected in those participating in bereavement groups compared to non-participating controls.
Methods: Questionnaires covering the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief (TRIG), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and background questions were handed out pre-intervention, five weeks and one year post-intervention to bereaved caregivers invited to bereavement groups. The results were analysed with non-parametric methods.
Results: A total of 124 individuals answered the questionnaires, and were divided into three categories: participants, non-participants unable to participate, and non-participants not wanting to participate in bereavement groups. At the one-year follow up, participants and those unable to participate reported higher levels of grief and were more anxious than those not wanting to participate. Depression did not differ between the groups.
Conclusions: Participation in bereavement groups did not produce any effects on grief, anxiety, or depression in comparison to non-participants who were unable to participate. Non-participants who did not want to participate reported lower levels of grief and anxiety than the other two groups.
2016. Vol. 15, 58