An Exploratory Study of Grief and Health-Related Quality of Life for Caregivers of People With Dementia

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The aim of this qualitative study was to explore key positive and negative factors that impact on grief resolution and health outcomes of caregivers who were caring, or had cared, for a family member with dementia who had died. The study was a scoping study and involved face-to-face interviews with these family caregivers (N = 13). Results indicated a complex interaction of issues (many unique to dementia caregiving) which in different combinations acted as protective or risk factors for caregiver outcomes. Interaction of individual characteristics, role appraisal, value of intrinsic and extrinsic resources, and experiences with health professionals during the caregiving period and around the death of their relative were shown to have the most influence on caregiver outcomes. Psychological resilience and satisfaction with caregiving were protective against negative outcomes while unresolved grief was a risk factor. These findings highlight the potential benefits of multicomponent, holistic dementia caregiver interventions.

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