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Psychologisches Institut Professur "Klinische Intervention und Global Mental Health"


•    Assessment and treatment of prolonged grief disorder (PGD) 

PGD is a new mental health disorder recently included for the first time in disorder classifications systems used worldwide. Dr Killikelly's research group at the Universität Zürich (UZH) examines the clinical utility and global applicability of the new ICD-11 Prolonged Grief Disorder. Along with establishing the validity of the new symptom criteria in international contexts, her research seeks to better understand the nature of suffering and distress in different communities to develop accessible and culturally informed assessments and interventions.  

Killikelly, C., & Maercker, A. (2018). Prolonged grief disorder for ICD-11: the primacy of clinical utility and international applicability. European journal of psychotraumatology, 8(Suppl 6), doi:10.1080/20008198.2018.1476441 

Killikelly, C., & Maercker, A. (2019). Anhaltende Trauerstörung. Traumafolgestörungen, 61–77. 

Killikelly, C., Zhou, N., Merzhvynska, M., Stelzer, E. M., Dotschung, T., Rohner, S., Sun, L. H., & Maercker, A. (2020). Development of the international prolonged grief disorder scale for the ICD-11: Measurement of core symptoms and culture items adapted for chinese and german-speaking samples. Journal of Affective Disorders, 277, 568–576.
This scale is the first to measure ICD-11 prolonged grief disorder and has been assessed in 15 different countries and translated into more than 10 languages.  

•    Culture and grief 

Current assessment measures of mental health disorders are largely based on North American and European conceptualizations of mental health (etic i.e., from the perspective of the observer). However, research is emerging from communities outside of the Global North, in particular, conflict-exposed communities, exploring local explanations for mental disorder (emic i.e., from within the cultural group), and the importance of using local knowledge and methods to better understand grief and other mental health conditions. Dr Killikelly’s work has a strong focus on lived experience and a bottom-up approach to the co-creation of knowledge. Building on her recent research visit to the University of British Columbia, Canada she is using participatory action research and indigenous methods to explore grief and bereavement experiences of Canadian migrants.  

Killikelly, C., Bauer, S., & Maercker, A. (2018). The Assessment of Grief in Refugees and Post-conflict Survivors: A Narrative Review of Etic and Emic Research. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 1957. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01957 

Comtesse, H., Killikelly, C., Hengst, S. M. C., Lenferink, L. I. M., de la Rie, S. M., Boelen, P. A., & Smid, G. E. (2023). The Ambiguous Loss Inventory Plus (ALI+): Introduction of a Measure of Psychological Reactions to the Disappearance of a Loved One. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(6), 5117.
This is the first questionnaire to assess the disappearance of a loved one and the associated psychological response 

Killikelly, C., Ramp, M., & Maercker, A. (2021). Prolonged grief disorder in refugees from Syria: qualitative analysis of culturally relevant symptoms and implications for ICD-11. Https://Doi.Org/10.1080/13674676.2020.1825361, 24(1), 62–79.   

•    E-mental health 

We have developed, designed and beta tested a new mobile self-monitoring and tracking system for prolonged grief disorder (mGAGE app) to assist bereaved individuals to better understand their grief process, identify triggers and recognize coping strategies. In the first and second stage of this study we aim to assess if this app is feasible and acceptable for use by bereaved patients. In addition, in collaboration with Anais Aeschlimann and Prof Eva Heim at the UNIL we are in the process of testing the first e-mental health low intensity intervention for grief in Arabic-speaking refugees.  

Killikelly, Aeschlimann, Cordilla, Ueno, Maercker, (2023) Feasibility and acceptability of a new mobile app to assess and track ICD-11 prolonged grief disorder symptoms, (in press, Clinical Psychology in Europe) 

Cella, M., He, Z., Killikelly, C., Okruszek, Ł., Lewis, S., Wykes, T., 2019. Blending active and passive digital technology methods to improve symptom monitoring in early psychosis. Early Interv. Psychiatry. 

Killikelly C, He Z, Reeder C, Wykes T. (2017) Improving Adherence to Web-Based and Mobile Technologies for People With Psychosis: Systematic Review of New Potential Predictors of Adherence. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, 5(7):e94 

Killikelly C, Quist H (2017) Development of a mobile device to record mental health inpatient data. Nursing Times [online]; 113: 8, 53-56.

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