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A qualitative study of adjustment to caring for an older spouse with psychiatric illness

Murray, J; Livingston, G; (1998) A qualitative study of adjustment to caring for an older spouse with psychiatric illness. Ageing and Society , 18 (6) 659 - 671. Green open access

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Abstract

An understanding of ways in which older carers' perceptions of their marital relationship and duty to their spouse underlie adjustment to care-giving is required for the development of acceptable and efficacious services for spouse carers. With this aim we conducted qualitative interviews with 20 spouses Of older people with a mental illness identified in a representative community study. While carers acknowledged distressing changes in their spouse, a history of reciprocity and intimacy emerged, comprising positive themes and perceived continuity which favourably influenced adjustment to care-giving. Those who still experience closeness in the relationship see themselves as coping and are reluctant to accept formal help. Others describe long-term unhappiness in marriage and experience feelings of entrapment in the role of carer. They require early and comprehensive services. Hypotheses regarding these themes are proposed.

Type: Article
Title: A qualitative study of adjustment to caring for an older spouse with psychiatric illness
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: © 1998 Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: Spouse carers, Mental health, Marriage, reciprocity, Intimacy, Qualitative method, Dementia sufferers, Care, Carers, Intervention, Depression, Community, Distress, Strain, People
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/91850
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