University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Partners’ Experiences of Relationship Continuity in Acquired Brain Injury

Villa, Darrelle and Riley, G.A. (2017) Partners’ Experiences of Relationship Continuity in Acquired Brain Injury. Cogent Psychology, 4 (1). Article 1380891. ISSN 2331-1908

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Background: Research in dementia suggests that spousal carers differ in terms of whether they perceive their relationship with the person with dementia as continuous with the pre-morbid relationship or as radically changed, and that these differences may be associated with how spouses respond to the challenges of caregiving. The aim of this study was to explore whether the conceptual framework of relationship continuity (which comprises five dimensions) may also be applicable to understanding the experience of spousal carers in acquired brain injury. Method: Five spouses were interviewed about their relationship, and the data were analysed using Template Analysis. The applicability of the framework was evaluated by assessing (1) whether the accounts of each participant provided material relevant to each of the five dimensions of relationship continuity, and (2) whether the accounts suggested a close link between the dimensions (i.e. whether participants who showed continuity on one dimension tended to show continuity on the other dimensions). The association between continuity/discontinuity and responses to the challenges of care-giving was also explored. Findings: Findings suggested that the two criteria were met and that the framework may be useful in understanding the experience of spousal carers in brain injury. Furthermore, those who perceived discontinuity drew on medical models for making sense of changes in their partner, experienced greater subjective burden, and expressed doubts about remaining within the relationship. Those who perceived discontinuity also reported experiencing less warmth and affection from their partner.

Item Type: Article
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© 2017 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.

Uncontrolled Keywords: brain injury, care-giving, burden, family relationships, marriage, marital satisfaction, template analysis
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Health and Society
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Copyright Info: Open Access article
Depositing User: Darrelle Villa
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2019 11:07
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2019 11:07

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