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Family caregivers' perceptions about patients' dying and death quality influence their grief intensity

Aims and objectives: To understand the influence of family caregivers' perceptions about patients' dying and death quality on their grief intensity. Background: Dying patients and their family caregivers face life-limiting illness together, and they work jointly to negotiate shared understandings and mutual adaptation to losses. Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected via an online survey. The manuscript followed the STROBE report guideline. Methods: Family caregivers of patients who had died within 8–365 days prior were recruited. The Quality of Dying and Death Questionnaire (QDDQ) (translated into Mandarin) and the Chinese Grief Reaction Assessment Form (GRAF) were used to measure the two key variables. Multivariate linear regression was performed to explore the links between the two variables while controlling for potential confounders. Results: Data were collected from 170 bereaved Chinese caregivers, and 150 cases were involved in the analysis. The four-factor structure of the QDDQ was appropriate for Chinese participants. After controlling whether end-of-life care was provided and families' satisfaction with physicians' and nurses' services, regressions revealed that more intense grief of the bereaved caregivers was associated with better symptom control for and worse transcendence of the deceased patient. Moreover, those who believed that the deceased had fulfilled his or her family duties before death experienced less intense grief, and the participant's relationship with the deceased also made a difference. Conclusion: Two aspects of patients' dying and death quality perceived by family caregivers, namely symptom control and transcendence, have opposite influences on caregivers' grief intensity. 

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Journal article
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Applied Nursing Research
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