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
Additional Information:

The full-text can be accessed via the official URL.
© 2017 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.

Uncontrolled Discrete 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: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
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Copyright Info: Open Access article
Depositing User: Darrelle Villa
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2019 11:07
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2020 08:01

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