Anticipatory grief among close relatives of persons with dementia in comparison with close relatives of patients with cancer
Journal article, 2013

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.

emotional stress


anticipatory grief

close relatives

comparison study



Åsa K Johansson

Valter Sundh

University of Gothenburg

Helle Wijk

University of Gothenburg

Agneta Grimby

American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

1049-9091 (ISSN)

Vol. 30 1 29-34

Subject Categories

Health Sciences





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