Cognition in Adult Bereavement: Preliminary Findings From Five Hospice Bereavement Focus Groups

J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care. 2015;11(3-4):283-306. doi: 10.1080/15524256.2015.1115801.


Grief is an experience of both common and unique responses (Hooyman & Kramer, 2006). Grief affects people in various ways including emotionally, cognitively, socially, physically, and spiritually (Corr, 2007; Doka, 2014). Little has been published on the cognitive domain of loss affecting attention, and concentration of bereaved adults. This qualitative study explored these effects among adults in one hospice bereavement program in Central Texas. Five focus groups included facilitated bereavement topical conversations resulting in descriptions of memory, concentration, and attention deficits after loss. These results suggested that participation in bereavement programming may normalize the experience facilitating cognitive task accomplishment. Referrals for bereavement care may be appropriate in order to facilitate equilibrium in individual's lives following a significant death.

Keywords: attention; bereavement; concentration; grief; memory.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Bereavement*
  • Cognition*
  • Emotions
  • Focus Groups
  • Grief
  • Health Status
  • Hospice Care / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Support
  • Spirituality