Quality of Life of Older Adults with Complicated Grief: A Mixed Methods Exploration

Tina M. Mason, Laura A. Szalacha, Cindy S. Tofthagen, Harleah G. Buck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current mixed methods study investigated what changes in quality of life (QOL) mean to older adults with complicated grief treated with Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) post-hospice services. An informational matrix, which included select patient characteristics (e.g., number of comorbidities, single versus multiple deaths, relationship role), four identified qualitative themes, end of study QOL scores measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health-Related QOL Healthy Days Module, and changes in scores from baseline to end of study, was created to analyze the data. Results showed that although a history of multiple deaths may contribute to greater improvements in QOL with therapy, having at least one comorbidity resulted in a richer description and endorsement of QOL in response to treatment. This is the first longitudinal, randomized controlled trial using a mixed methods approach to examine QOL of hospice family caregivers with complicated grief who are receiving ART. This study identifies potential links of QOL and caregiver characteristics, providing nurses with foundational knowledge for assessment, care, and further research on the experiences of complicated grief.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of gerontological nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Gerontology


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