Pitt Researchers Look for Participants in Complicated Grief Study

Adults who have lost a loved one to illness, accident, or suicide and who are having trouble coping with the grief may be eligible to participate in a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health research study. Researchers at the Late-Life Depression Evaluation and Treatment Center are seeking adults ages 18 to 95 to participate in the Healing Emotions After Loss (HEAL) study, which examines complicated grief.

Complicated grief treatment is a recently developed psychotherapy, or talk-therapy approach, that specifically targets the grief. In the study, the Pittsburgh researchers use techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy and motivational interviewing, to provide an individualized approach to resolving the areas that hinder the restorative process. Some research data suggest that antidepressant medication may also relieve symptoms of complicated grief, but the degree to which medications help, either alone or in combination with the therapy, remains to be determined.

Pittsburgh is one of four sites nationally that has been funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the National Institute of Mental Health to study whether antidepressant medications, alone or in combination with complicated grief therapy, help relieve complicated grief and its associated health consequences.

For additional information or to discuss eligibility for participation in the HEAL study, contact Mary McShea, program coordinator, at 412-246-6006.


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