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The three dimensions of caregiver grief in dementia caregiving: Validity and utility of the subscales of the Marwit-Meuser Caregiver Grief Inventory

The three dimensions of caregiver grief in dementia caregiving: Validity and utility of the subscales of the Marwit-Meuser Caregiver Grief Inventory

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 35(2): 213-222

ISSN/ISBN: 0885-6230

PMID: 31736107

DOI: 10.1002/gps.5238

The experience of grief in family caregivers as they provide care for persons with dementia is often overlooked. The Marwit-Meuser Caregiver Grief Inventory (MM-CGI) is one among the few scales that capture such experiences. In a recent study, MM-CGI was found to contain three subscales identifying dimensions of loss in caregivers-Personal-Sacrifice Burden (PSB), Heartfelt Sadness, Longing, and Worry (HSLW), and Felt Isolation (FI). We aimed to evaluate the validity and utility of these dimensions in a multiethnic Asian population. Family caregivers (n = 394) completed MM-CGI and scales assessing caregiver burden, depression, and gains. Internal consistency reliability was examined using Cronbach α; test-retest reliability using intraclass correlation coefficient; and construct validity using Pearson correlation coefficient. The utility of the MM-CGI dimensions was evaluated by comparing caregivers with high subscale scores across dementia stages and caregiving relationship. The three dimensions of MM-CGI exhibited adequate internal consistency, test-retest reliability, construct validity, and known-group validity. PSB correlated most strongly with caregiver burden (r = 0.78); HSLW with caregiver depression (r = 0.75); and FI with caregiver burden and caregiver depression (r = 0.60, respectively). Caregivers with high total grief scores tended to experience most difficulty with HSLW (90.8%), followed by PSB (75.4%) and FI (46.2%). The three dimensions also increased across the dementia stages, with FI higher in mild dementia, PSB higher in moderate dementia, and HSLW higher in severe dementia. Spousal caregivers experienced most difficulty in HSLW, whereas children caregivers experienced similar levels of difficulty across the dimensions. The three dimensions of MM-CGI captured distinct aspects of caregiver grief in a multiethnic Asian population and would enable more individualized assessments and interventions for caregiver grief.

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Accession: 069525989

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