Self-guided online treatment of disturbed grief, posttraumatic stress, and depression in adults bereaved during the COVID-19 pandemic: A randomized controlled trial

L. Reitsma*, P. A. Boelen, J. de Keijser, L. I.M. Lenferink

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

13 Citaten (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: This randomized-waitlist controlled trial is the first study examining short-term effects of a self-guided online grief-specific cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in reducing early persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression symptoms in adults bereaved during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: Sixty-five Dutch adults, bereaved at least three months earlier during the pandemic, with clinically-relevant PCBD, PTSD, and/or depression symptoms, were allocated to a treatment (n = 32) or waitlist condition (n = 33). Telephone interviews were conducted to assess PCBD, PTSD, and depression symptoms (using validated instruments) at baseline, post-treatment, and post-waiting period. Participants received an eight-week self-guided online grief-specific CBT including exposure, cognitive restructuring, and behavioral activation assignments. Analyses of covariance were performed. Results: Intention-to-treat analyses indicated that people in the intervention condition showed significantly lower PCBD (d = 0.90), PTSD (d = 0.71), and depression (d = 0.57) symptom-levels post-treatment relative to waitlist controls post-waiting, while taking baseline symptom-levels and use of professional psychological co-intervention into account. Conclusions: The online CBT proved to be an effective intervention, reducing PCBD, PTSD, and depression symptoms. Pending replication of these findings, early online interventions may be widely implemented in practice to improve treatments for distressed bereaved people.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftBehaviour Research and Therapy
StatusPublished - apr.-2023

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