Testing the Dual Process Model of Coping with Grief: A Comparative N-of-1 Study
Essen, Hans van
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Objectives. The Dual Process Model of grief (DPM) explains how loss leads to Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) in some individuals, but not in others. The objective of this study was to test predictions provided by DPM by studying the oscillation between periods of presence and absence of grief, and predictors for grief experience. Methods. This study employs a comparative n-of-1 design with experience sampling method, focusing on two bereaved individuals, one with, and one without PGD. Measurement of potential predictors included company, place, activity, and pleasure during activity. Results. Oscillation of grief was found in the case without PGD, whereas the case with PGD continuously experienced grief. For the case without PGD, a predictive model was constructed using the activities, with periods of rest or sleep predicting the highest grief, followed by periods of household activities or hobbies, and work or social activities predicting the lowest experienced grief. For the case with PGD, no meaningful predictive model could be constructed. Discussion. Existence of oscillation and possibility of modelling grief experiences was shown as hypothesized in the case without PGD, and differed from the case with PGD, which was also hypothesized. The outcomes are encouraging for DPM.