Caregiving and decision regret: Dr. Hélène Elidor publishes a systematic review in collaboration with the Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec

Dr. Hélène Elidor, with support from our experts in knowledge translation, has published the review “Extent and Predictors of Decision Regret among Informal Caregivers Making Decisions for a Loved One: A Systematic Review.”


Caregivers are often faced with difficult health care decisions for dependent or vulnerable individuals. These decision-making processes can lead caregivers to experience decision regret: feelings of remorse and distress about the decisions made. In this systematic review of the literature, we have identified the levels of decision regret and its associated factors among caregivers who have made decisions related to the health of a loved one.


Studies assessing decision regret using the Decision Regret Scale among caregivers who have made health care decisions on behalf of their loved ones were included. The included studies reported an overall low level of regret among caregivers, but high levels of regret for some decisions. The results suggest that although factors associated with decision regret may emerge from different stages of the decision-making process (before, during and after), most of these associated factors emerge from the first stage of the decision-making process. We identified factors associated with increased levels of decision regret in caregivers, including the advanced age of care recipients, family or medical history, adult care recipients being male, caregivers showing an initial desire to avoid the decision, decisional conflict and treatment complications. We also identified factors associated with decreased levels of decision regret among caregivers, including the perception of effective decision-making and effective support during decision-making.


Further research could explain the links between different phases of decision-making and the presence of decision regret, and also determine whether decision-making support can reduce or mitigate decision regret if provided at all stages of decision-making (before, during and after).


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