Who uses bereavement services? An examination of service use by bereaved dementia caregivers

Ithaca College, Gerontology Institute, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Aging and Mental Health (Impact Factor: 1.75). 05/2011; 15(4):531-40. DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2010.543661
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to examine factors associated with the bereavement service utilization of bereaved dementia caregivers. Grounded in Andersen's behavioral model of health service use, this study examined predisposing, enabling, and need factors as potential predictors of bereavement service use.
Data were drawn from the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health Study. Hierarchical logistic regression analyses were conducted for bereaved dementia caregivers (N = 224).
Approximately one in three participants utilized bereavement services. Support groups, counseling, and psychotropic medications were used in similar proportions. Depressive symptomatology, anxiety, and complicated grief served as need factors, with higher levels resulting in higher probability of service utilization.
The results highlight the importance of need factors in the utilization of bereavement services. Future research should focus on interventions designed to assure timely access to those bereaved family caregivers who are most in need.

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