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Bereavement and Psychiatric Hospitalization

Nicholas R. Frost, MD; Paula J. Clayton, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(10):1172-1175. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770220054005.
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• Two hundred forty-nine psychiatric inpatients were compared with 249 matched controls and with a psychiatric hospital survey group of 95 patients for incidence of recent bereavement. There were no significant differences between the groups for loss of a first-degree relative in six months and one year prior to admission. There was a preponderance of affective disorder among the psychiatric patients with recent loss. Severe subjective grief reactions were found in the four patients who had lost a spouse or a child and in some patients who had lost a parent, while loss of a sibling usually evoked a mild reaction. Patients with alcoholism tended to increase their drinking during the bereavement period, resulting in incapacitation and hospitalization or, in the case of a control patient, in severe trauma.


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