• 1 Hospital Selayang, Palliative Care Unit, Selayang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 2 Hospital Selayang, Palliative Care Unit, Selayang, Selangor, Malaysia.
  • 3 Centre for Coordination Clinical Research Network (CCRN), Institute for Clinical Research (ICR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Malaysia
Med J Malaysia, 2023 Nov;78(6):780-786.
PMID: 38031221


INTRODUCTION: Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) is a diagnosis characterised by severe, persistent and disabling grief beyond 6 months post-death of a loved one. The new text revision of DSM-5 (DSM-5-TR) approved a new diagnosis PGD on March 2022. In Malaysia, PGD is not routinely screened in healthcare settings and hence goes untreated. The aim of this study is to identify prevalence and factors related to PGD among bereaved relatives whose loved ones had access to PCU services.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study involving bereaved individuals in Palliative Care Unit Hospital Selayang. Participants (n=175) were recruited through telephone, and a validated tool Prolonged Grief Disorder Scale (PG-13) was asked to identify PGD. Further data collected were concomitant stressors in life and support system in the bereaved individual.

RESULTS: Prevalence of PGD was 2.9% (n=5), and subthreshold PGD was 4% (n=7). A model of multiple logistic regression calculated most of the traditional risk factors were not significant except having an increased responsibility as a single parent after passing of a spouse or loved one, had 10 times increased odds of PGD (Odds Ratios: 10.93; 95% Confidence Interval: 2.937, 40.661). Otherwise, immediate family support (80%), religion (60%) and community (40%) support were the top three coping mechanisms of our PGD cohort, although they were not significant in a multiple logistic regression model.

CONCLUSION: Our PGD percentage may not be as high as those of other countries, but nonetheless they exist and their needs are just as important. The authors hope that this paper may create an awareness among the healthcare clinicians about PGD in our society, for a greater access of service to understand them and better public awareness.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.