Comparison of the Caregiving Experience of Grief, Burden, and Quality of Life in Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Alzheimer's Disease, and Parkinson's Disease Dementia

Taylor Rigby, David K. Johnson, Angela Taylor, James E. Galvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Caregivers of persons living with Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) are faced with numerous challenges. However, little is known about the caregiving experience across different dementias. OBJECTIVE: The aims of this cross-sectional study were to examine the differences in the caregiver experience between DLB, PDD, and AD. METHODS: Respondents were caregivers (N = 515; 384 DLB, 69 AD, 62 PDD) who completed a 230-question survey including sociodemographics, disease severity, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and measures of grief, burden, depression, quality of life, social support, well-being, care confidence, and mastery/self-efficacy. RESULTS: There were no differences in caregiver age, sex, race, or education, or in the distribution of disease severity between diagnostic groups. Constructs were highly intercorrelated with positive attributes (caregiver QoL, care recipient QoL, social support, well-being, mastery and care confidence) being inversely correlated with negative attributes (burden, grief, and depression). Across dementia etiologies, no differences were reported for quality of life, social support, depression, well-being, psychological well-being, mastery, care confidence, burden or grief. Instead, we found that the caregiver's experience was dependent on caregiver characteristics, person living with dementia characteristics and their most disturbing symptom, with behavior, personality changes, and sleep having the greatest effect on constructs. CONCLUSION: Caregiver ratings of psychosocial constructs may be more dependent on care recipient-caregiver dyad characteristics and the current symptoms than the underlying cause of those symptoms. Interventions to improve the caregiving experience should be developed to address specific psychosocial constructs rather than focusing on disease etiology or stage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-432
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease dementia
  • caregiver burden
  • caregiver grief
  • caregiving
  • dementia with Lewy bodies
  • depression
  • quality of life
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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