Association between anticipatory grief and problem solving among family caregivers of persons with cognitive impairment

Nicole R. Fowler, Alexandra S. Hansen, Amber E. Barnato, Linda Garand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: Measure perceived involvement in medical decision making and determine if anticipatory grief is associated with problem solving among family caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment. Method: Retrospective analysis of baseline data from a caregiver intervention (n = 73). Multivariable regression models testing the association between caregivers' anticipatory grief, measured by the Anticipatory Grief Scale (AGS), with problem-solving abilities, measured by the Social Problem Solving Inventory-Revised: Short Form (SPSI-R: S). Results: 47/73 (64%) of caregivers reported involvement in medical decision making. Mean AGS was 70.1 (± 14.8) and mean SPSI-R: S was 107.2 (± 11.6). Higher AGS scores were associated with lower positive problem orientation (p =.041) and higher negative problem orientation scores (p =.001) but not other components of problem solving - rational problem solving, avoidance style, and impulsivity/carelessness style. Discussion: Higher anticipatory grief among family caregivers impaired problem solving, which could have negative consequences for their medical decision making responsibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-509
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • anticipatory grief
  • caregivers
  • dementia
  • medical decision making
  • problem solving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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