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Type: Journal article
Title: Women's experience of becoming caregivers to their ill partners: Gadamerian hermeneutics
Author: Frankowska, D.
Wiechula, R.
Citation: Australian Journal of Primary Health, 2011; 17(1):48-53
Publisher: Australian Journal Primary Health, Australian Institute Primary Care & School Public Health
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 1448-7527
Statement of
Dorota Frankowska and Rick Wiechula
Abstract: The recent morbidity trends in Australia indicate a steep rise in the number of individuals living with chronic illness who rely on the assistance of mostly women carers. Consequently, supporting and promoting carers' health should be a priority to sustain their health, and ensure their ability to provide care to a significant other. This interpretive hermeneutic study explored the lived experience of women during the transition of becoming carers to their male partners with various health conditions. Gadamerian hermeneutics were used to research participants' experiences allowing for interpretations that incorporated understandings of both worlds, those of the researcher and the participants. This negotiation of understandings made it possible to create mutual and new knowledge. The phenomenon 'entering transition' revealed itself as a precarious balance between a sense of loss and coping with the life changing situation. Yearning to preserve that equilibrium, the women did not wish to be considered as carers to their partners but expressed a need for maintaining the cohesiveness of their identity as part of a couple. One of the recommendations arising out of this study is that a different approach is needed to assist nurses and other health professionals to support this specific population of women carers in the community and in hospital settings.
Keywords: carers’ health; spousal carers; women carers.
Rights: © La Trobe University 2011
RMID: 0020105135
DOI: 10.1071/PY10038
Appears in Collections:Nursing publications

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