Last updated on February 2018

Complicated Grief Among Children After a Death From Cancer or Another Cause: A Longitudinal and Prospective Study (CAPS)

Brief description of study

The purpose of this study is to identify risk factors of Complicated Grief (CG) among children and adolescents who lost a parent to cancer or from an other cause.

Detailed Study Description

Although the intensity of the grief and life disruption usually subsides in the months following the loss of a loved one, approximately 7% of bereaved individuals will continue to experience persistent and intense grief-related symptoms associated with marked distress and functional impairment years after the death.

While several studies aimed to evaluate risk factors of CG among adults, little is known regarding CG among children and adolescents. Therefore, prospective research directly examining the impact of bereavement on post-loss psychiatric symptoms, including CG, post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD), depression, attentional and behavioral avoidance among children are needed. Improving our understanding of CG risk factors among children will help direct healthcare professionals' clinical attention toward screening and care of this underserved population.

Furthermore, identifying mechanisms explaining why cancer bereaved children may be at greater risk for persistent psychological distress and CG will inform the development of preventive, early intervention and treatment strategies.

Participants will be recruited to the Child and Adolescent grief counseling of the College Hospital of Toulouse as well as with the Team Regional Resource Pediatric Palliative Care "Enfant-Do". At 3, 6 and 12 months post-loss, children and their parent will be invited to complete questionnaires assessing peritraumatic dissociative experiences, peritraumatic distress, security attachment, symptoms of CG, symptoms of PTSD and attentional avoidance.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03330145

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