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Anticipatory grief among close relatives of persons with dementia in comparison with close relatives of patients with cancer

Journal article
Authors Åsa K Johansson
Valter Sundh
Helle Wijk
Agneta Grimby
Published in American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Volume 30
Issue 1
Pages 29-34
ISSN 1049-9091
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 29-34
Language en
Keywords anticipatory grief, emotional stress, close relatives, dementia, cancer, comparison study
Subject categories Health Sciences


Close relatives of persons with dementia self-reported reactions on the Anticipatory Grief Scale (AGS), were observed by nurses (Study I), and compared with relatives of cancer patients in a study using the same methodology (Study II). Study I showed an overall stressful situation including feelings of missing and longing, inability to accept the terminal fact, preoccupation with the ill, tearfulness, sleeping problems, anger, loneliness, and a need to talk. The ability to cope was, however, reported high. Selfassessments and nurses’ observations did not always converge, e.g. for the acceptance of the illness. The reactions of the relatives in the dementia and the cancer groups showed more similarities than dissimilarities. However, the higher number of responding spouses in the cancer group may have influenced the outcome.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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