Date Published: August 4, 2009
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): Stephen Workman
Partial Text: Mrs. Hugh Ross
In systematically, and to me at least, persuasively establishing prolonged grief disorder (PGD) as a uniquely identifiable illness that requires specific treatments, Holly Prigerson and colleagues have separated PGD from normal grief and from other forms of pathologic grief responses . Is it useful to include it in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)? I believe it is for several reasons. First, treatment for PGD is effective and substantially different from treatment for other forms of psychiatric illnesses that can be triggered by or arise with grief and loss.
Improving treatment efficacy and decreasing the resources required would be especially important if estimates about the frequency of PGD are accurate . If PGD lasts for many years, a backlog of individuals who could benefit from treatment exists. The establishment of diagnostic questionnaires  and Internet-based treatment  would both improve access to care. Existing hospital-based bereavement services could also assess and potentially treat PGD.