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Co-construction of chronic illness narratives by older stroke survivors and their spouses

Co-construction of chronic illness narratives by older stroke survivors and their spouses
Co-construction of chronic illness narratives by older stroke survivors and their spouses
Illness narratives have mainly focused on individual patients’ accounts, and particularly those of people experiencing the onset of chronic illness in mid-life. However, a growing number of older people are spending their later life with their partner, with both experiencing complex morbidities. We examine the shared creation of meanings among older stroke survivors and their spouses and the implications for individual and couple identity. Joint biographical narrative interviews were held with 13 stroke survivors aged 75–85 and their spouses. The analysis examined both narrative content and narrative style. Three main types of co-presentation of identity were identified. The ‘united couple’ described couples who pulled together and emphasised their accommodation of the stroke and normality as a couple, despite often considerable disability, and was strongly underpinned by collaborative interaction in interviews. Caring relationships were distinguished as ‘positive’, involving self-reliant couples who took pride in how they managed and ‘frustrated’ in couples who emphasised the difficulties of caring and hardships experienced and were characterised by a conflictual style of narrative. We argue that joint interviews provide new forms of data that extend notions of how illness is lived and demonstrates how the marital relationship can mediate the experience of chronic illness and disability and its impact on identity.
stroke, older age, chronic illness, narrative, joint interviews
0141-9889
993-1007
Radcliffe, Eloise
4bbec31f-dadd-4b7d-95c4-7d96a5ec8659
Lowton, Karen
b05a0c8c-e462-4aa8-b9ef-4c6a0f8024ba
Morgan, Myfanwy
8e1d99f6-81c2-4153-afc5-d7bc12c44ce2
Radcliffe, Eloise
4bbec31f-dadd-4b7d-95c4-7d96a5ec8659
Lowton, Karen
b05a0c8c-e462-4aa8-b9ef-4c6a0f8024ba
Morgan, Myfanwy
8e1d99f6-81c2-4153-afc5-d7bc12c44ce2

Radcliffe, Eloise, Lowton, Karen and Morgan, Myfanwy (2013) Co-construction of chronic illness narratives by older stroke survivors and their spouses. Sociology of Health and Illness, 35 (7), 993-1007. (doi:10.1111/1467-9566.12012).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Illness narratives have mainly focused on individual patients’ accounts, and particularly those of people experiencing the onset of chronic illness in mid-life. However, a growing number of older people are spending their later life with their partner, with both experiencing complex morbidities. We examine the shared creation of meanings among older stroke survivors and their spouses and the implications for individual and couple identity. Joint biographical narrative interviews were held with 13 stroke survivors aged 75–85 and their spouses. The analysis examined both narrative content and narrative style. Three main types of co-presentation of identity were identified. The ‘united couple’ described couples who pulled together and emphasised their accommodation of the stroke and normality as a couple, despite often considerable disability, and was strongly underpinned by collaborative interaction in interviews. Caring relationships were distinguished as ‘positive’, involving self-reliant couples who took pride in how they managed and ‘frustrated’ in couples who emphasised the difficulties of caring and hardships experienced and were characterised by a conflictual style of narrative. We argue that joint interviews provide new forms of data that extend notions of how illness is lived and demonstrates how the marital relationship can mediate the experience of chronic illness and disability and its impact on identity.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 11 February 2013
Published date: September 2013
Additional Information: M1 - N/A
Keywords: stroke, older age, chronic illness, narrative, joint interviews

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427544
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427544
ISSN: 0141-9889
PURE UUID: d49fedc7-20dc-4f9c-a2d6-a8858c49e465

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Date deposited: 23 Jan 2019 17:30
Last modified: 23 Jan 2019 17:30

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