Exploring the role of expectancy in older US participants’ response to an accelerated resolution therapy intervention for prolonged grief disorder

Harleah G. Buck, Bryan Benitez, Tina Mason, Diego Hernandez, Cindy Tofthagen, Jacqueline Mogle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Accelerated resolution therapy (ART) is a psychotherapy for the treatment of prolonged grief disorder (PGD) defined as severe, enduring longing for the lost person. Currently, ART lacks examination of intrapersonal processes, like expectancy, as behavioural mechanisms for action. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to present the findings on participants’ treatment expectations of ART for PGD and then discuss potential hypotheses for future testing. This study was a primary qualitative descriptive analysis of prospectively collected interview data (collected 2017–2019) accrued as part of a randomised, wait-list controlled clinical trial in bereaved hospice family caregivers in the United States. The sample included 29 former informal caregivers who were at least 1-year post death of their care recipient. They were primarily female, older (67.4 ± 7.1 years), and a little over half (n = 18) had been married to their care recipient. Thematic analysis resulted in three distinct themes with six sub-themes: The role of knowledge in expectations (sub-themes uncertainty, prior knowledge); The role of personality in expectations (sub-themes openness, positive affect); and Expecting a process (sub-themes cognitive processes, affective processes) which described the interaction of person and process in shaping expectations of our intervention. An across theme analysis of the specificity of the participants’ expectations uncovered that knowledge and personality inform expectations of ART and that individuals who verbalise a process for recovery tend to be very specific in their expectations. Three hypotheses for testing are put forward and implications for practice, research and policy discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • caregiver
  • complicated grief
  • expectancy
  • intervention
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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