What are the experiences of caring for a loved one with a chronic condition?

Smith, Laura and Sellwood, Bill and Eccles, Fiona (2017) What are the experiences of caring for a loved one with a chronic condition? PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This thesis comprises of a literature review, a research paper and a critical appraisal of the thesis. The main focus of the thesis is on family members’ experiences of caring for loved ones with chronic illnesses. First, a thematic synthesis explored mothers’ experiences of parenting a child with a chronic illness. Thirteen papers (comprising of twelve studies) exploring the experiences of 176 mothers to children with seven different chronic illnesses were included in the synthesis. The thematic synthesis resulted in four themes: the overarching and pervasive sense of responsibility; the altered maternal relationship: the tension between idealised and actual motherhood; counting the costs: dismissing one’s own feelings in order to maintain the ability to care; and becoming the expert. The aim of the research paper was to explore the experiences of partners of people with chronic pain. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse ten semi-structured interviews of eight men and two women. Five themes were identified: the process of acceptance and adjustment; the challenge of accessing effective support; pain as a personal, independent and malignant force; loss and growth in the relationship; and controlling ones awareness as a means of controlling the impact pain. The first two themes are already documented in the qualitative pain literature and therefore were not discussed in the research paper to allow for more detailed exploration of the novel findings. Finally, a critical appraisal extended the discussion of the research paper and literature review by exploring in more detail the limitations and how future research can further the current findings. Particular attention was paid to the role of gender in the research findings.

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Thesis (PhD)
?? interpretative phenomenological analysis (ipa) partnersexperienceschronic illnessmother ??
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Deposited On:
09 Oct 2017 10:10
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 05:39