Understanding Nepali widows’ experiences for the adaptation of an instrument to assess Prolonged Grief Disorder

Yoona Kim, Damodar Rimal, Angela K. C, Sumeera Shrestha, Nagendra P. Luitel, Holly G. Prigerson, Wietse A. Tol, Pamela J. Surkan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The experience of grief varies across different cultures and contexts. Women in Nepal who lose their husbands confront discrimination, social isolation, and abuse that influence their experience of grief. Through eight focus group discussions with Nepali widows, we elicited socially sanctioned grief reactions and local idioms used to describe common cognitive, behavioral, and emotional symptoms of grief. Accordingly, modifications to an existing instrument for Prolonged Grief Disorder, the PG-13, are suggested to capture grief symptoms as experienced by Nepali widows. Items in the PG-13 were translated to colloquial Nepali and adapted to maintain comprehensibility, acceptability, relevance, and completeness. Based on the grief-related issues reported in the focus group discussions, the addition of five new items and a new criterion to capture symptoms related to social discrimination are proposed. Widows perceived elevated symptoms one year after the loss to be problematic. It is thus recommended that the duration criterion in the original PG-13 be adjusted from at least six months to at least one year after the loss. These proposed modifications to the instrument should be validated through future psychometric testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-904
Number of pages14
Journaltranscultural psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Nepal
  • PG-13
  • Prolonged Grief Disorder
  • grief
  • widows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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