Women’s experience of becoming caregivers to their ill partners: Gadamerian hermeneutics

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Frankowska, Dorota and Wiechula, Rick (2011) Women’s experience of becoming caregivers to their ill partners: Gadamerian hermeneutics. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 17 (1). pp. 48-53. ISSN 1448-7527


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.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/7840
DOI 10.1071/PY10038
Official URL http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/PY10038.htm
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Historical > FOR Classification > 1110 Nursing
Historical > SEO Classification > 9202 Health and Support Services
Keywords ResPubID22665, carers’ health, spousal carers, women carers
Citations in Scopus 3 - View on Scopus
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