Invisible Carers

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McLean, Patricia and Kostanski, Marion (2003) Invisible Carers. In: Proceedings of the 38th APS Annual Conference 2-5 October 2003, Perth W.A. : development through diversity. Katsikitis, Mary, ed. Australian Psychological Society, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 133-137.


Research indicates that there is little information regarding how the potential death of a cardiac patient impacts on the surviving partner. The literature suggests many of these partners are women. They are given little or no option of caring; the presumption being that they will take on this role willingly. From this perspective women (age to 60 years) whose partners have recently had a cardiac event were interviewed to explore the impact of this experience and how they adjusted to their role of carer. Results suggest that initially these women automatically disregard their own needs to concentrate on their partner's. Through this automatic caring, many of these women become virtually 'invisible'. The findings of this study indicate that utilizing our understanding of the processes which protect these women from ongoing distress and trauma may facilitate the development of an intervention program against depression and the long-term impact of 'invisibility' on women who do not recover as quickly.

Item type Book Section
ISBN 0909881235
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1702 Cognitive Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords ResPubID6337, illness, coronary heart disease, CHD, positive transference, adult attachment, separation, health care system, anxiety, middle age, family support, self-control, psychological distress, untimeliness, post-traumatic counseling
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