The Alzheimer's family caregiver as decision maker: A typology of decision styles

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This study developed a typology of decision styles and discussed its usefulness for providing support to family caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease. During semistructured interviews, 28 caregivers described making a total of 159 caregiving decisions. The analysis involved the classification of the caregivers' experiences into categories and the formation of a typology of the styles used throughout the decision-making process. Predecision styles include proactive, reactive, and inactive and are based on caregivers' tendencies to prepare for and initiate the decision. Postdecision styles include forecasting, attempting, and depending and are based on the caregivers' implementation plans. Although many (46.4%) of the caregivers tended toward a particular decision style, the majority were not consistent. Eight of the ten categories of decisions made appeared to require a particular decision style. Decision-making needs based on caregiving decision styles are presented to guide the provision of decision support to family caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-332
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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