Tanya Smith

Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Reactions to spousal bereavement are very individualized; while a large majority of individuals are able to navigate their way through the bereavement process, there are a significant number who can’t. Individuals who suffer from complicated grief are thought to be essentially stuck in a chronic and intense state of mourning that lasts longer than six months post loss. As one would expect, adverse health outcomes are a consequence of untreated complicated grief. It is the purpose of this paper to present the reader with evidence that there are effective treatment interventions for complicated grief. Additionally, a second purpose of this paper is to create a pamphlet to be used by clinicians in a variety of health care settings. This pamphlet will provide evidence based research on recognition of complicated grief, risk factors, and effective treatment interventions. The pamphlet will enhance clinicians’ awareness of complicated grief, provide treatment options and will reduce the increased morbidity and mortality rates associated with untreated complicated grief.