Year: 2017 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2017). 47(1): 38-47. DOI: 10.1111/sltb.12260 SIEC No: 20170598

Encountering the body of a child who died by suicide at the site of death is believed to be especially harmful for bereaved parents. We investigated the association between encountering the body at the site of the suicide and psychological distress in 666 suicide-bereaved parents. Parents who had encountered their child’s body at the site of the suicide (n = 147) did not have a higher risk of nightmares (relative risk [RR] 0.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.67–1.35), intrusive memories (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.84–1.13), avoidance of thoughts (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.74–1.27), avoidance of places or things (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.66–1.25), anxiety (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.64–1.33), or depression (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.63–1.42) compared with parents who had not encountered the body (n = 512). Our results suggest that losing a child by suicide is sufficiently disastrous by itself to elicit posttraumatic responses or psychiatric morbidity whether or not the parent has encountered the deceased child at the site of death.