Pre-death grief in the context of dementia caregiving: A concept analysis

Allison Lindauer, Theresa A. Harvath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Aim: The aim of this study was to report on an analysis of the concept of pre-death grief in the context of dementia family caregiving. Background: Research indicates that witnessing changes and losses in a family member with dementia can lead to pre-death grief. Pre-death grief is associated with depression, burden and maladaptive caregiver coping. However, the concept lacks a refined definition and blurs with similar constructs. Design: Concept analysis using a hybrid of Penrod and Hupcey's principle-based concept analysis and Chin and Kramer's conceptualization of meaning. Data Sources: 49 peer-reviewed papers (2000-2013) that addressed pre-death grief in dementia family caregivers were used for the principle-based analysis; two examples from the popular media were used for the analysis of conceptual meaning. Methods: The scientific papers were examined for epistemological, linguistic, pragmatic and logical clarity. The two examples from the popular media were explored for conceptual meaning. Results: Pre-death grief in the context of dementia caregiving is a meaningful concept found in the popular media. From a scholarly point of view, it is an emerging concept. A definition is offered to advance conceptual clarity. Discussion focuses on advancing the concept into a situation-specific middle-range theory of pre-death grief in family caregiving. Conclusions: The concept of pre-death grief has salience for researchers and caregivers. This analysis lays the foundation for use of the concept in nursing research and practice across cultural, environmental and illness domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2196-2207
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of advanced nursing
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Caregiving
  • Concept analysis
  • Dementia
  • Family care
  • Grief
  • Loss
  • Nursing
  • Pre-death grief
  • Sorrow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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