Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 65–73

Prevalence and Comorbidity of Prolonged Grief Disorder in a Sample of Caregivers of Patients in a Vegetative State


  • Chiara Guarnerio
    • Clinical and Health Psychology UnitGruppo La Villa Institute
    • Department of PsychologyMilan-Bicocca State University
  • Irene Della Fontana
    • Department of PsychologyMilan-Bicocca State University
  • Paola Chiambretto
    • Clinical and Health Psychology Unit
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11126-011-9183-1

Cite this article as:
Guarnerio, C., Prunas, A., Della Fontana, I. et al. Psychiatr Q (2012) 83: 65. doi:10.1007/s11126-011-9183-1


Previous studies have shown that Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and major depression are autonomous nosological entities. The present study aims at further analyzing the relationship among them in a sample of caregivers of patients in Vegetative State (VS) or Minimally Conscious State (MCS). We also investigated factors predicting the development of PGD. We sampled 40 Caregivers of patients in VS or MCS consecutively admitted to long-term care units. Caregivers were administered the PG-12, the Depression Questionnaire, the SCID I and the Davidson Trauma Scale. Six participants (15%) fulfilled the criteria for PGD, 25% (N = 10) for depression and 25% (N = 10) for PTSD. Although significant correlations emerged among symptom domains of the three disorders, no relevant association was found between a diagnosis of PGD, depression and PTSD. The severity of PTSD symptoms was found to be predictive of PGD. Clinical implications are discussed.


Prolonged grief disorderCaregiverVegetative stateMinimally conscious state

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011