Presentation_2_Validation of a German Version of the Grief Cognitions Questionnaire and Establishment of a Short Form.PPTX (45.35 kB)
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Presentation_2_Validation of a German Version of the Grief Cognitions Questionnaire and Establishment of a Short Form.PPTX

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posted on 2021-01-18, 05:08 authored by Bettina K. Doering, Paul A. Boelen, Maarten C. Eisma, Antonia Barke

Whereas the majority of bereaved persons recover from their grief without professional assistance, a minority develops pathological grief reactions. Etiological models postulate that dysfunctional cognitions may perpetuate such reactions. The Grief Cognitions Questionnaire (GCQ) assesses thoughts after bereavement in nine interrelated domains. A short form (GCQ-SF) with four domains is often used. However, an evaluation of the psychometric properties of the GCQ-SF and its utility compared to the GCQ is lacking and these instruments have not been validated in German.


German bereaved persons (time since loss 35.3 ± 34.6 months) responded to an online survey containing the GCQ, measures of grief severity, grief rumination, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and optimism and pessimism. 585 participants (18–78 years, 88% women) were included. Item analyses and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted. Correlations between the GCQ and GCQ-SF and grief rumination, optimism and pessimism assessed construct validity. Criterion-related validity was assessed by comparing whether the correlation of the GCQ (and the GCQ-SF) with grief severity was higher than with anxious and depressive symptoms. Logistic regression and receiver-operator characteristics (ROC) compared the questionnaires on their ability to predict probable prolonged grief ‘caseness’ (ICG ≥ 25, time since loss ≥6 months).


Internal consistencies for both questionnaires were identical and excellent (α = 0.96). Confirmatory factor analyses obtained a satisfactory fit for models with nine and four correlated subscales and respective higher-order factor models. The GCQ and the GCQ-SF correlated higher with grief severity than with other measures of psychopathology. The logistic regression showed a significant association between the GCQ-SF and prolonged grief ‘caseness’. Of the remaining subscales of the GCQ, only one subscale (‘Others’) contributed to the prediction. The ROC analyses showed nearly identical areas under the curve.


The translated GCQ and GCQ-SF demonstrated very good psychometric properties. The correlations with grief severity highlight the questionnaires’ clinical relevance. The questionnaires possessed identical diagnostic specificity and sensitivity. Whenever a timesaving assessment of the most typical grief-specific cognitions is important, the GCQ-SF represents an alternative to the GCQ. The original GCQ may still be superior when a more detailed description of a bereaved person’s cognitions is desirable.