Pre-loss grief in caregivers of older adults with dementia with lewy bodies

Juyoung Park, James E. Galvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Pre-loss grief increases as dementia advances. Caregivers who experience pre-loss grief face risks to their own physical and psychological health. Objective: The study examined factors associated with pre-loss grief in caregivers of older adults with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) to determine whether overall caregiver experiences differ based on the stages of DLB in care recipients. The study also compared pre-loss grief in caregivers of DLB patients with that in caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias. Method: Using a cross-sectional design, 714 caregivers of older adults with dementia (488 DLB, 81 AD, 145 other dementias) completed an online survey on pre-loss grief. Multivariate linear regression identified risk factors associated with pre-loss grief and analysis of variance examined whether pre-loss grief in caregivers differed significantly based on type of dementia or stage of DLB. Results: Being the caregiver of a spouse, lower level of caregiver well-being, lower psychological well-being of the caregiver, and higher level of burden were associated (p < 0.005) with increased pre-loss grief in caregivers of older adults with DLB. There was no significant difference in caregiver burden, well-being, or depression according to the various stages of DLB (mild, moderate, severe, deceased) in the care recipients. There was no significant difference in pre-loss grief in caregivers of DLB care recipients compared to caregivers of patients with other dementias. Conclusion: Assessment of DLB caregivers and appropriate interventions should be conducted to reduce their burden and emotional distress to decrease the incidence of pre-loss grief.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1847-1859
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume82
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • burden
  • caregiver
  • dementia
  • dementia with Lewy bodies
  • pre-loss grief
  • prolonged grief
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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