top of page
NCIRE Logo (large).jpg
One Mission, One Goal: Veterans Health


We are a scientific community of clinicians and researchers and we partner with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) to bring the power of modern medicine to the health of our nation’s Veterans.


Research News


Psychosocial distress among spouses of persons with dementia before and after their partner's death


Dementia can be a challenging experience for those with the neurogenerative disease, as well as for their loved one’s charged with their care. Particularly spouses of persons living with dementia may face heightened psychosocial distress in the years immediately before and after their partner's death.

NCIRE-supported Principal Investigator Dr. Alexander K. Smith joined his colleagues in a clinical investigation which compared the psychosocial needs of spouses of partners with dementia with spouses of partners with non-impaired cognition nearing and after the end of life, focusing on loneliness, depression, life satisfaction, and social isolation.

The research team used nationally representative Health and Retirement Study data of married couples (2006–2018), restricting to spouses 50+ years old. They included 2,098 spouses with data on loneliness and depressive symptoms two years before and after their partner's death.

The research team’s study “Psychosocial distress among spouses of persons with dementia before and after their partner's death” was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. You can read it here:


Alexander K. Smith, MD, MS, MPH is a geriatrics and palliative care Staff Physician with the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System, and Professor of Medicine with the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California. He co-developed ePrognosis, an online guide for older patients seeking to determine if they should be screened for cancer. He has been a NCIRE-supported Principal Investigator since 2008.



SFVAHCS research would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of the volunteers who participate in our studies.


Imagine working in an environment where cutting-edge research to advance human health is the norm. 


We ask you to support Veterans health research and join a community dedicated to returning health to those returning home

bottom of page