Staying married after stroke: a constructivist grounded theory qualitative study
Keating, Norah C.
Wilson, Donna M.
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Marriages are one of the most powerful predictors of health and longevity, yet research in stroke has focused separately on survivors' experience of impairments and how spouses deal with caregiving. Objectives: The purpose of this constructivist grounded theory study was to understand the key themes related to reconstruction or breakdown of marriages after stroke. Methods: In semi-structured interviews, 18 couples in long-term marriages discussed how their marriages were reconstructed or broke down after one member of the couple returned home after being hospitalized for a stroke. Constant comparison methods were used to compare the experiences of 12 couples in which both partners indicated their relationship was going well with 6 couples who either separated or remained in parallel marriages. Results: Analysis revealed an overarching process of reconstructing compatible role-identities and three themes related to the reconstruction or breakdown of the marital identity: feeling overwhelmed, resolving conflict, and perceiving value in the marriage. Conclusions: Our findings highlight that marriages are contexts in which survivors and spouses can recalibrate their role-identities. Marriage relationships are not peripheral to survivors' and spouses' outcomes after stroke; rather, marriage is fundamental to the management of impairments and to the well-being of the couple.
- Faculty of Humanities