Psychiatric morbidity associated with acquired immune deficiency syndrome-related grief resolution

J. Summers, S. Zisook, J. H. Atkinson, Andres F Sciolla, W. Whitehall, S. Brown, T. Patterson, I. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


This study examined acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related grief resolution and psychiatric morbidity in 286 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive and HIV-negative gay men examined between 1989 and 1993 in San Diego, CA. Psychiatric morbidity, mood ratings, and bereavement assessments were obtained using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R, Hamilton Rating Scales for Depression and Anxiety, and Texas Revised Inventory of Grief. Sixty percent of the men (N = 171) reported a loss within the previous 12 months. Eighteen percent of the bereaved met criteria for unresolved grief. No differences were evident in lifetime psychiatric disorders, yet men with unresolved grief demonstrated an elevated prevalence of current major depression and panic disorder when compared with resolved grievers. Clinician sensitivity to the grief process and its relationship to psychiatric complications is an important component of comprehensive psychiatric and medical care of men at high risk for HIV during this era of AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-389
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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