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Living with a spouse with chronic illness - the challenge of balancing demands and resources
Univ Gavle, Dept Hlth & Caring Sci, Kungsbacksvagen 47, S-80176 Gavle, Sweden.
Univ Gavle, Dept Hlth & Caring Sci, Kungsbacksvagen 47, S-80176 Gavle, Sweden.
Univ Gavle, Dept Hlth & Caring Sci, Kungsbacksvagen 47, S-80176 Gavle, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences. Univ Gavle, Dept Hlth & Caring Sci, Kungsbacksvagen 47, S-80176 Gavle, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 19, article id 422Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The number of partners providing informal care for their chronically ill spouse is rising, and they describe their daily life as demanding. The aim of this paper was to describe the partners' experiences of living with a person with chronic illness and how they manage everyday life.

Methods: A descriptive design with a qualitative approach was used. A purposive sample of 16 Swedish partners with a chronically ill spouse were interviewed. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: Four main themes were identified: Managing challenges in daily life,' Seeking support and use own capabilities to manage life,' Appreciating the good parts of life' and Adapting to constant changes and an uncertain future'. Their experiences of support from formal care providers varied; they expressed the need for more assistance from the health care sector.

Conclusions: The partners experienced many challenges in everyday life when providing informal care for their chronically ill spouse. This affected both their physical and psychological health, as they had limited time for themselves. The partners seemed to receive more support from their informal network than from formal care providers. In handling daily life, the partners balanced demands and resources to identify possibilities to move forward and find meaning in life. This is congruent with theories by Antonovsky, and Folkman and Lazarus that describes meaningfulness and how to handle challenges in everyday life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BMC , 2019. Vol. 19, article id 422
Keywords [en]
Chronic illness, Partner, Resources, Formal care, Daily life
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-383163DOI: 10.1186/s12889-019-6800-7ISI: 000465429300005PubMedID: 31014309OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-383163DiVA, id: diva2:1314837
Available from: 2019-05-10 Created: 2019-05-10 Last updated: 2019-05-10Bibliographically approved

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