Content overlap analyses of ICD-11 and DSM-5 prolonged grief disorder and prior criteria-sets

Maarten C. Eisma*, Antje Janshen, Lonneke I.M. Lenferink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: The International Classification of Diseases eleventh edition (ICD-11) has recently included prolonged grief disorder (PGD), a diagnosis characterized by severe, persistent, and disabling grief. The text revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5-TR) is scheduled to include a similar but distinct diagnosis, also termed PGD. Concerns have been raised that these new diagnoses are qualitatively different from both prior proposed diagnoses for pathological grief and each other, which may affect the generalizability of findings obtained with different criteria sets. Objective: We conducted a content overlap analysis of PGDICD-11, PGDDSM-5-TR, and previous proposals for pathological grief diagnoses (i.e. PGD 2009; complicated grief (CG), PGD ICD-11 beta draft, persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD) per DSM-5). Methods: Using the Jaccard’s Index, we established the degree of content overlap between core and accessory symptoms of PGDICD-11, PGDDSM-5-TR, and prior proposals for pathological grief diagnoses. Results: Main findings are that PGDICD-11 and PGDDSM-5-TR showed moderate content overlap with each other and with most prior proposed diagnoses for pathological grief. PGDICD-11 and PGDDSM-5-TR showed the strongest content overlap with their direct predecessors, PGDICD-11 beta draft and PCBD, respectively. Conclusions: Limited content overlap between PGDICD-11 and PGDDSM-5-TR and preceding criteria sets may threaten generalizability of past research on phenomenological characteristics of pathological grief to current criteria sets. Similarly, findings obtained with instruments to assess PGDICD-11 may not generalize to PGDDSM-5-TR and vice versa. Researchers should aim to determine under which circumstances criteria sets for PGD yield similar or distinct characteristics. Convergence of criteria sets for PGD remains an important goal for the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2011691
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • bereavement
  • content overlap
  • diagnosis
  • DSM-5-TR
  • Grief
  • ICD-11
  • prolonged grief disorder

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