Abigail J. Rolbiecki, PhD, MPH, MSW


Although family caregiving has been extensively studied over the last decade, little attention has been given to the bereavement experiences of family caregivers. If family caregivers are distressed and have poor social support during active caregiving, they are at greater risk for developing prolonged or complicated grief, post-loss. Caregivers who can make meaning of their caregiving and bereavement experiences are said to fare better than those who cannot.

ABIGAIL ROLBIECKI wants to help family members make meaning of their caregiving and bereavement experiences. Those who are able to build a network of social support during the caregiving process are more likely to function better after their loved one dies. Her background in narrative therapy and storytelling informs most of her work. She is using various storytelling intervention approaches (e.g., digital storytelling, photo-elicitation) to engage caregivers in a meaning-making process. Ultimately she hopes to reduce their distress during caregiving, which can reduce their grief intensity.

Academic Information

Assistant Professor


One Hospital Drive
MA306 Medical Sciences Building, DC032.00
Columbia , MO 65212
United States

P. 573-884-3268

Research Interests

  • Narrative, Therapeutic Interventions
  • Digital Storytelling and Photovoice
  • End-of-Life and Palliative Care
  • Trauma and Adverse Life Experiences

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

PhD: Social Work, University of Missouri
MPH: University of Missouri
MSW: University of Missouri


For a complete publication list, see: My Bibliography (NCBI Collections)

  • Factors influencing engagement in an online support group for family caregivers of individuals with advanced cancer.
    J Psychosoc Oncol. 2019; DOI: 10.1080/07347332.2019.1680592
    Washington KT, Parker Oliver D, Benson JJ, Rolbiecki AJ, Jorgensen LA, Cruz-Oliver DM, Demiris G.
  • Online social support groups for informal caregivers of hospice patients with cancer.
    European journal of oncology nursing: the official journal of European Oncology Nursing Society. 2019;44: 101698-101698.
    Benson JJ, Oliver DP, Washington KT, Rolbiecki AJ, Lombardo CB, Garza JE, Demiris G.
  • An exploration of apparel and well-being among transmasculine young adults.
    Journal of LGBT Youth. 2019;17(1):1-17.
    Teti M, Morris K, Bauerband LA, Rolbiecki A, Young C.
  • Behind the doors of home hospice patients: a secondary qualitative analysis of hospice nurse communication with patients and families.
    Palliative and Supportive Care. 2019; DOI: 10.1017/S1478951518001098.
    Parker Oliver D, Tappana J, Washington KT, Rolbiecki A, Craig K, Demiris G, Schafer C, Winjobi M, Clayton MF, Reblin M, Ellington L.
  • Digital storytelling as an intervention for bereaved family members.
    OMEGA: Journal of Death and Dying. 2019; DOI: 10.1177/0030222819825513.
    Rolbiecki AJ, Washington KT, Bitsicas K.
  • Exploring lived experiences of chronic pain through photo-elicitation and social networking.
    Pain Medicine. 2018;DOI: 10.1093/pm/pny175.
    Rolbiecki AJ, Teti M, Crenshaw B, LeMaster JW, Ordway J, Mehr DR.
  • A qualitative exploration of resilience among patients living with chronic pain.
    Traumatology. 2017;23(1):89-94.
    Rolbiecki A, Subramanian R, Crenshaw B, Albright DL, Perreault M, Mehr DR.
  • Digital storytelling: families’ search for meaning after child death.
    Journal Of Social Work In End-Of-Life & Palliative Care. 2017;13(4):239-250.
    Rolbiecki AJ, Washington K, Bitsicas K.