Pre-death grief in the context of dementia caregiving is a significant risk factor for depression, burden, anxiety, and adjustment difficulties. The Two-Track Model of Dementia Grief (TTM-DG) provides a bifocal perspective addressing the nature of the emotional attachment to a loved one living with cognitive impairment, along with a medico-psychiatric perspective associated with stress, trauma, and change in life. The aims of the present study were to empirically validate the components of the model as to identify salutary and risk factors for maladaptive grief responses. Participants were 62 spouses of people living with cognitive impairment, and a control group of 32 spouses. All completed a battery of self-report questionnaires. Structural Equation Modeling yielded six variables consistent with the TTM-DG: partner’s behavioral disorders; caregiver’s burden; social support; physical health; attachment anxiety; and dementia grief as an outcome measure. Additional findings addressed participants at risk for grief difficulties. The findings provide empirical support for the utility of the TTM-DG in the identification of risk factors associated with maladaptive responses and pre-death grief following a spousal cognitive decline. The TTM-DG can assist in the formulation of evidence-based evaluations and interventions to assist spouses caring for their loved ones living with dementia.
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- two-track model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology