Aim: ‘Complicated Grief’ is a syndrome where normal grief is unusually prolonged because of complications in the natural healing process; namely the insufficient integration of a new situation into pre-existing cognitive structures and distorted beliefs during the grieving process. Approximately 20 % of grieved individuals report clinical complaints that refer to anxiety, depression, psychical symptoms and life-treating behaviors. The aims of this study are to identify which psychotherapy-based interventions were designed for the treatment of complicated grief and to identify required factors for an effective treatment model. Method: PubMed, PsychINFO (EBSCO), Web of Knowledge, Cochrane Library, ULAKBİM and EMBASE databases from 1990 to January 2017 have been searched. Additional citations were procured from references of select research and review articles. The review identified 178 publications, 21 of which met the full inclusion criteria, comprising 14 randomised controlled trials and 7 quantitative descriptive studies. The reported data studies were combined with using a narrative synthesis. Results: All selected studies were grouped according to the theoretical underpinnings and the operational implementation of the interventions. After a comprehensive search, six diverse types of psychotherapy-based interventions and five essential components for an effective treatment model were identified. Conclusions: Complicated grief can be treated effectively with six different types of psychotherapy-based interventions and a number of factors can lead to more decrement in the catastrophic consequences of loss. These identified components may help to draw a conceptual framework for an effective treatment model.
Keywords: Complicated, Prolonged, Pathological, Grief, Bereavement, Treatment