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Difficulties with loss-related memories are hypothesised to be an important feature of severe and enduring grief reactions according to clinical and theoretical models. However, to date, there are no self-report instruments that capture the different aspects of memory relevant to grieving and adaptation after bereavement over time. The Oxford Grief-Memory characteristics scale (OG-M) was developed using interviews with bereaved individuals and was subject to exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses in a community sample (N = 676). Results indicated the scale was unidimensional and demonstrated excellent psychometric properties. The impact of memory characteristics on symptoms of Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) according to both ICD-11 and DSM-5-TR criteria were investigated using cross-lagged structural equation modelling in a three-wave longitudinal sample (N = 275) at baseline and 6 and 12 months later. Results indicated that loss-related memory characteristics predicted future symptoms of PGD after controlling for autoregressions, and concurrent associations between symptoms and memory characteristics. Cross-lagged associations between memory characteristics and symptoms were significant in the first 6 months of follow-up. After that, memory characteristics predicted future symptoms, but not the other way round. Theoretical and clinical utility of the scale and its features are discussed.

Original publication

DOI

10.3389/fpsyt.2022.814171

Type

Journal article

Journal

Front Psychiatry

Publication Date

2022

Volume

13

Keywords

bereavement, cognitive behavioural therapy, cross-lagged analyses, memory, prolonged grief disorder (PGD), structural equation modelling (SEM)