Aim: The aim of this study was to report on an analysis of the concept of pre-death grief in the context of dementia family caregiving.
Background: Research indicates that witnessing changes and losses in a family member with dementia can lead to pre-death grief. Pre-death grief is associated with depression, burden and maladaptive caregiver coping. However, the concept lacks a refined definition and blurs with similar constructs.
Design: Concept analysis using a hybrid of Penrod and Hupcey's principle-based concept analysis and Chin and Kramer's conceptualization of meaning.
Data sources: 49 peer-reviewed papers (2000-2013) that addressed pre-death grief in dementia family caregivers were used for the principle-based analysis; two examples from the popular media were used for the analysis of conceptual meaning.
Methods: The scientific papers were examined for epistemological, linguistic, pragmatic and logical clarity. The two examples from the popular media were explored for conceptual meaning.
Results: Pre-death grief in the context of dementia caregiving is a meaningful concept found in the popular media. From a scholarly point of view, it is an emerging concept. A definition is offered to advance conceptual clarity. Discussion focuses on advancing the concept into a situation-specific middle-range theory of pre-death grief in family caregiving.
Conclusions: The concept of pre-death grief has salience for researchers and caregivers. This analysis lays the foundation for use of the concept in nursing research and practice across cultural, environmental and illness domains.
Keywords: caregiving; concept analysis; dementia; family care; grief; loss; nursing; pre-death grief; sorrow.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.