The use of psychotherapy as an effective treatment for grief and loss for persons diagnosed with dementia and their caregiver: a systematic review of the literature

Masters Thesis


Breedon, Karen T.. 2018. The use of psychotherapy as an effective treatment for grief and loss for persons diagnosed with dementia and their caregiver: a systematic review of the literature. Masters Thesis Master of Science (Research). University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5f7bf4adec17b
Title

The use of psychotherapy as an effective treatment for grief and loss for persons diagnosed with dementia and their caregiver: a systematic review of the literature

TypeMasters Thesis
Authors
AuthorBreedon, Karen T.
SupervisorMitchell, Leander
Lamont-Mills, Andrea
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Science (Research)
Number of Pages80
Year2018
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5f7bf4adec17b
Abstract

The effects of dementia can be overwhelming not only for those diagnosed with dementia, but also their caregivers. Psychotherapy may be one way that can help the dyad better cope with this life-changing diagnosis, however whether psychotherapy is effective remains unclear. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify effective psychotherapeutic interventions to ameliorate the effects of grief and loss experienced by the dyad of the person experiencing dementia and their caregiver.

During the screening process a total of 1020 records were identified via searching University of Southern Queensland databases using the field 'abstract'. After removing 354 duplicate records a total of 666 remained. Further screening by the researcher and a research assistant resulted in 30 articles being short-listed for full text review using title and abstract. On completion of this procedure it was found that no literature met the inclusion criteria specifically aimed to explore psychotherapy as an effective treatment for grief and loss experienced by the dyad of persons with dementia and their caregiver.

In collaboration with the researcher’s supervisors, a revised inclusion criteria was developed that moved from treatment aimed at the dyad to include research where either the caregiver, or the person with dementia, individually was a recipient of psychotherapeutic intervention. The 666 articles were re-screened and a total of eight articles were short-listed for full-text review. Four of the eight articles were discarded due to not meeting the inclusion criteria. On review it was found that the four articles included for review and synthesis focused on grief and loss experienced by the caregiver. No literature was identified relating to persons with dementia receiving psychotherapeutic intervention to ameliorate the effects of grief and loss.

Within the four articles reviewed and synthesised three interventions were identified as being used. These interventions included: (1) telephone-based cognitive behavioural therapy, (2) coaching, and (3) the five component 'Easing the Way' interventions (MacCourt, McLennan, Somers & Krawczyk, 2017; Meichsner, Schinkothe, & Wilz., 2016; Meichsner & Wilz., 2016; Ott, Kelber, & Blaylock, 2010). These interventions were found to be potentially beneficial in ameliorating the experience of grief and loss on the part of the caregiver. With further research these findings may be useful in its implications in supporting the dyad of caregivers and persons with dementia by guiding the future direction of psychotherapeutic intervention.

Keywordsdementia, grief, loss, carer, caregiver, psychotherapy
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520599. Social and personality psychology not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Psychology and Counselling
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q54y9/the-use-of-psychotherapy-as-an-effective-treatment-for-grief-and-loss-for-persons-diagnosed-with-dementia-and-their-caregiver-a-systematic-review-of-the-literature

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