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Supplementary Material for: Clinical Utility and Global Applicability of Prolonged Grief Disorder in the ICD-11 from the Perspective of Chinese and German-Speaking Health Care Professionals

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posted on 06.03.2020, 09:00 by Stelzer E.-M., Zhou N., Merzhvynska M., Rohner S., Sun H., Wagner B., Maercker A., Killikelly C.
Background: Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) is included in the ICD-11 (11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases). The new PGD criteria reflect the requirements and recommendations of the World Health Organization for improved clinical utility and international applicability. Even though the ICD classification system is globally used, no research has investigated how healthcare professionals (HP) in non-Western countries may adopt this change for their own practice. Objective: The present study explored the extent to which the new PGD criteria were accepted and perceived to meet the standards for clinical utility and international applicability among Chinese and German-speaking HP. Methods: Individual semistructured interviews were conducted in person, by phone, or online (e.g., via Skype), with 24 Chinese (n = 10) and German-speaking (n = 14) HP working with bereaved populations in China and Switzerland, and analyzed using a qualitative framework analysis. Questions included “what items are currently missing from the PGD criteria?”. Results: Across all HP, the majority supported the inclusion of PGD and were generally aligned with the current criteria. HP found that the criteria distinguished between normal and abnormal grief and considered the criteria easy to use if their modifications were considered. Merits included, among others, improved clinical decision making, research promotion, and social acknowledgment. Main concerns included misdiagnosis, pathologization, and a lack of specificity of criteria. The importance of international applicability was emphasized across Chinese and German-speaking HP. Different grief-specific symptoms were identified by German-speaking and Chinese HP. Conclusions: These findings provide evidence for the clinical utility and international applicability of ICD-11 PGD criteria among German-speaking and Chinese HP, as well as cultural similarities and differences in the barriers to implementation of these criteria.