Breaking News
October 17, 2018 - Scientists uncover possible new causes of Tourette syndrome
October 17, 2018 - Girl undergoes unusual heart surgery after compassionate-use exemption | News Center
October 17, 2018 - Health Issues That Are Sometimes Mistaken for Gluten Sensitivity
October 17, 2018 - Elective induction of labor at 39 weeks may be beneficial option for women and their babies
October 17, 2018 - New smart watch algorithms can accurately monitor wearers’ sleep patterns
October 17, 2018 - Researchers demonstrate epigenetic memory transmission via sperm
October 17, 2018 - FDA, DHS announce memorandum of agreement to address cybersecurity in medical devices
October 17, 2018 - Health Tip: Know the Risks of Chicken Pox
October 17, 2018 - Immunotherapy effective against hereditary melanoma
October 17, 2018 - Researchers reveal new mechanism for how animal cells stay intact | News Center
October 17, 2018 - Alzheimer's Goes Under the Cryo-Electron Microscope
October 17, 2018 - Medicare for all? CMS chief warns program has enough problems already
October 17, 2018 - Metrohm Raman introduces Mira P handheld Raman system
October 17, 2018 - Expanding the knowledge about hippocampus to better understand cognitive deficits in MS
October 17, 2018 - Study of Nigerian breast cancer patients reveals prevalence of aggressive molecular features
October 17, 2018 - Many healthy children may have metabolic risk factors, finds study
October 17, 2018 - A new antibiotic could be a better, faster treatment for tuberculosis
October 17, 2018 - “I will not become a Robot Doctor”: A medical student vows to practice compassion
October 17, 2018 - Study findings may explain sporadic outbreaks of C. difficile infections in hospitals
October 17, 2018 - Purdue researchers develop new chemical process to find better drug ‘fits’ for patients
October 17, 2018 - Yale researchers develop way to attack RNA with small-molecule drugs
October 17, 2018 - New pragmatic study launched to understand the effectiveness of new type 2 diabetes drug
October 17, 2018 - Alnylam Announces Plan to Initiate Rolling Submission of a New Drug Application and Pursue Full Approval for Givosiran
October 17, 2018 - Nine cases of polio-like illness suspected in children in illinois
October 17, 2018 - Eisai enters into agreement with Eurofarma for development and sales of lorcaserin in 17 countries
October 17, 2018 - Patients once thought incurable can benefit from high-dose radiation therapy
October 17, 2018 - Researchers awarded grant to advance testing of experimental heroin vaccine
October 17, 2018 - Researchers examine SSRI use during pregnancy and major gestational malformations
October 17, 2018 - Reliable Respiratory announces acquisition of Attleboro Area Medical Equipment
October 17, 2018 - Study reveals link between childhood abuse and higher arthritis risk in adulthood
October 17, 2018 - Research shows people over 65 are not performing enough physical activity
October 17, 2018 - FDA Approves Liletta (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 52 mg to Prevent Pregnancy for up to Five Years
October 17, 2018 - Weight gain after smoking cessation linked to increased short-term diabetes risk
October 17, 2018 - Researchers find opportunity to control salt-sensitive hypertension without exercising
October 17, 2018 - Women not warned about cancer associated with breast implants
October 17, 2018 - Metrohm offers robust handheld Raman analyzer for Defense and Security
October 17, 2018 - Modeling Non-Numerical Data in Systems Biology
October 17, 2018 - Research aims to address health disparities in African-American men
October 17, 2018 - Human and cattle decoys trap outdoor-biting mosquitoes in malaria endemic regions
October 17, 2018 - High Circulating Prolactin Level Inversely Linked to T2DM Risk
October 17, 2018 - Study finds gene variant predisposes people to both Type 2 diabetes and low body weight
October 17, 2018 - Metrohm software products make it easy to comply with ALOCA and ALCOA+ guidelines
October 17, 2018 - Network of doctors identify the cause of 31 new conditions
October 17, 2018 - Notable improvement in brain cancer survival among younger patients but not much for elderly
October 17, 2018 - Scientists shed light on roles of transcription factors, TP63 and SOX2, in squamous cell carcinoma
October 17, 2018 - Costs of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program may be higher than expected reimbursement
October 17, 2018 - Misuse of prescription opioids or benzodiazepines associated with suicidal thoughts
October 17, 2018 - New research seeks to address sex disparities in women’s health
October 17, 2018 - C-Section Rates Have Nearly Doubled Since 2000: Study
October 17, 2018 - Talking to Your Kids About STDs
October 17, 2018 - New classification of periodontal and peri-implant diseases and conditions
October 17, 2018 - Herbert D. Kleber, Pioneer in Addiction Treatment, Dies at 84
October 17, 2018 - Health effects of smoke-filled atmosphere
October 17, 2018 - Down syndrome may hold important clues to onset of Alzheimer’s disease
October 17, 2018 - A special report on US’ aging societies
October 17, 2018 - Birth mode may have acute effects on neurodevelopment, study suggests
October 17, 2018 - Global health innovation system fails to deliver affordable treatments to patients, says report
October 17, 2018 - Simple, inexpensive test quickly detects antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’
October 17, 2018 - New drugs could reduce risk of heart disease when added to statins
October 17, 2018 - Visible and valued: Stanford Medicine’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Forum
October 17, 2018 - HVP vaccination not linked with rise in teen risky sex
October 17, 2018 - Potential ‘early warning markers’ for sepsis discovered
October 17, 2018 - Who knew? Life begins (again) at 65
October 17, 2018 - Application of blood pressure guidelines ups treatment
October 17, 2018 - Stanford researchers find that small molecule may help treat enzyme deficiency
October 17, 2018 - Speed Cameras Save Money and Lives in New York City
October 17, 2018 - Men who conform to ‘the man box’ more likely to consider suicide and violence
October 17, 2018 - Researchers aim to create more authentic organoids for drug testing, transplantation
October 16, 2018 - New blood test for pediatric brain tumor patients offers safer approach than surgical biopsies
October 16, 2018 - Age-related estrogen increase may be the culprit behind inguinal hernias in men
October 16, 2018 - Skills-Based Intervention Did Not Cut Systolic BP After Stroke, TIA
October 16, 2018 - Researchers uncover new role of TIP60 protein in controlling tumour formation
October 16, 2018 - Behind the scenes of a lifesaving heart surgery
October 16, 2018 - ‘To See the Suffering’
October 16, 2018 - Drinking concentrated rosemary extract can boost memory by up to 15%, shows research
October 16, 2018 - Medicare Advantage riding high as new insurers flock to sell to seniors
October 16, 2018 - NHS tackles prescription fraud to save millions
October 16, 2018 - New molecular switch may help develop sophisticated photomedications
October 16, 2018 - Improving access to behavioral health screenings for pregnant and postpartum women
October 16, 2018 - Health Highlights: Oct. 12, 2018
Grieving patients treated with talk therapy have lower risk of suicide and psychiatric illness

Grieving patients treated with talk therapy have lower risk of suicide and psychiatric illness

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

In a comprehensive study, researchers from Aarhus University show that grieving patients who receive what is known as talk therapy at the general practitioner shortly after a relative’s death, have a lower risk of suicide and psychiatric illness than others. Data from 207.000 million Danes is included in the register-based study, which can contribute to new practices in the preventative area.

Losing a close family member is psychologically painful. In fact, it is so painful that the risk of committing suicide or developing other serious psychiatric conditions increases for grieving people who have experienced a serious bereavement. A study now suggests that talk therapy with a general practitioner early in the grief process can reduce this risk.

This is shown by a new, nationwide study of health data on Danes over the age of 18 who have lost a child, a spouse, siblings or parents during the period 1996-2013. The results have just published in Clinical Epidemiology.

“The study shows that patients whose general practitioners often use talk therapy have a lower risk of suicide and other psychological disorders than others,” says senior statistician and PhD student, Morten Fenger-Grøn from Aarhus University, who is behind the study.

The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of early treatment with talk therapy or antidepressant medicine on grieving patients. The researchers looked at three specific consequences in connection with the grief resulting from the death of a close relative: suicide, self-harm and admission to a psychiatric hospital.

Scalpels and prescriptions are not enough

A simple comparison showed that the grieving patients who were treated with talk therapy or antidepressant medicine had an increased risk of developing psychological disorders or committing suicide.

In the period from six months to two years after the bereavement, 4,584 patients (2.2 per cent) were affected by one of these events; suicide, self-harm and admission to a psychiatric ward, of which suicide was the rarest. Among patients who had received antidepressant treatment in the first six months, the figure was 9.1 per cent, and among patients who received talk therapy, it was 3.2 per cent.

“It was an expected finding which could in principle be due to the fact that the treatment is harmful, or the more desirable situation that the general practitioners are able to target the treatment towards the most seriously ill patients. The question was whether these patients would have had an even greater risk, if they had not received treatment,” says Morten Fenger-Grøn.

To answer this question, the researchers used a new analytical approach, where they utilised the fact that there are differences between general practitioners’ propensity to use different treatments.

“We’re talking about a so-called marginal patient, a patient that some doctors will choose to treat and others will not,” says Morten Fenger-Grøn.

The study showed that the risk of a serious psychiatric condition during the grief process would be 1.7 per cent lower if the patient received talk therapy.

“It seems to document the importance of doctors having other means than scalpels and prescriptions. Our results suggest that early intervention in response to grieving patients can prevent serious psychiatric events. Unfortunately, the study cannot tell us the most effective form of therapy, or whether general practitioners are well enough prepared for the task, but it appears that taking time to talk with the patient works,” he says.

The research results have been adjusted for both the patient’s characteristics and the general practitioners’ propensity to prescribe antidepressant medicine. The study could not, however, provide any precise measurements for the significance of antidepressant medicine in this context.

The research results – more information

The study is a so-called population-based instrument variable study – a systematic register-based study with health data from more than five million Danes who had a general practitioner between 1996-2013, with special focus on the 207,000 people who experienced a serious bereavement during the period.

The researchers made use of a new analytical approach which has been developed in collaboration between the Research Unit for General Practice and the Section for Biostatistics at Aarhus University.​

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles