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Gerontologist. 2007 Dec;47(6):798-809.

Grief and personal growth experience of spouses and adult-child caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Author information

1
College of Nursing, and Center on Age and Community, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413, USA. carolott@uwm.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to describe the grief and personal growth experience of spouses and adult children of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and the factors contributing to these experiences.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

We used a modification of the Marwit-Meuser-Sanders Caregiver Grief model to examine the factors that contribute to grief and personal growth. We used chi-square tests, t tests, multivariate analyses of variance, correlations, and hierarchical regression analyses in a cross-sectional analysis of 201 spouses and adult children caregivers at various stages of the disease trajectory.

RESULTS:

Grief increased as the severity of the disease increased. When the spouse with Alzheimer's disease lived out of the home, spouse caregivers experienced more sadness and longing, worry and isolation, and personal sacrifice burden than did adult children caregivers. Different factors influence grief and personal growth for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease. The majority of caregivers experienced personal growth, with more growth experienced by adult children.

IMPLICATIONS:

Health care providers should consider using the Marwit and Meuser Caregiver Grief Inventory to screen for high levels of grief in caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Supportive services targeted for those with high levels of grief are suggested.

PMID:
18192633
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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