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The Meaning and Experience of Gratitude for People Living with Dementia

Pearson, Martha; Clarke, Chris; Wolverson, Emma


Martha Pearson

Chris Clarke

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Dr Emma Wolverson
Senior Lecturer Ageing and Dementia. Research Lead for Dementia UK.


Supporting people to live well with dementia is an international government priority. People living with dementia experience a range of positive emotions despite the challenges associated with dementia. Further research is needed to explore how these positive experiences can be fostered to support well-being. There is empirical evidence of the benefits of gratitude in other clinical groups, but no studies have explored how gratitude is experienced by people living with dementia.
In this mixed-methods study, eight people living with dementia shared their experiences of gratitude through interviews and gratitude diaries. Qualitative data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Quantitative data regarding diary use were analysed using descriptive statistics.
Findings and Conclusions
Gratitude holds interpersonal and transpersonal meanings for people living with dementia, balanced with challenges of dementia and ageing. This study offers insight into the existence and relevance of gratitude for people living with dementia, highlighting the importance of using multiple methods in dementia research. Positive psychology interventions informed by these findings may be effective in supporting well-being for people with dementia.


Pearson, M., Clarke, C., & Wolverson, E. (2022). The Meaning and Experience of Gratitude for People Living with Dementia. Dementia, 21(1), 335-352.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 29, 2021
Online Publication Date Aug 30, 2021
Publication Date 2022-01
Deposit Date Apr 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Dementia
Print ISSN 1471-3012
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 1
Pages 335-352
Keywords Dementia; Gratitude; Diary; Positive psychology; Gratefulness
Public URL


Accepted manuscript (324 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2022 by SAGE Publications. DOI:

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