Caring for a dying partner: the Male experience

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Caring for a dying partner : the Male experience. / Judd, Rebecca; Guy, Helen; Howard, Ruth.

In: Journal of Palliative Care, Vol. 34, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 5-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Judd, Rebecca ; Guy, Helen ; Howard, Ruth. / Caring for a dying partner : the Male experience. In: Journal of Palliative Care. 2019 ; Vol. 34, No. 1. pp. 5-11.

Bibtex

@article{23b407d8203c45f9a7c9edd0c713797b,
title = "Caring for a dying partner: the Male experience",
abstract = "Objective: Caring for someone close who is dying, such as a spouse, is an emotive experience; however, there is little research examining the phenomenon of caregiving for a spouse at the end of life and of men{\textquoteright}s experiences specifically. Existing literature suggests that men who are providing care are less likely to seek help than women, especially psychological and emotional support for themselves. The aim of the current study was to explore the lived experiences of men caring for a dying spouse or partner and their help-seeking for themselves during this time.Methods: Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with men caring for their partner, who was receiving palliative care. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.Results: Three superordinate themes emerged from the data, “Illness Questions Everything,” “Constructing the Caring Role,” and “Help-Seeking at the Limit.” The arrival of a terminal illness into a partnership is traumatic, and while it can deepen relationships, it can also create distance. The carer role has conflicting demands and carers need to make sense of their experience in order for the carer role to be constructed as a source of purpose or meaning. Finally, the idea of seeking help for oneself as a carer during this time is seen as “incompatible,” unmanageable, and can only be considered if constructed as a “last resort.”Significance of Results: Men care too; however, they can feel confused by this role and unsure as to how this fits with their identity as a man. They make sense of this by identifying as a partner whose “duty” or “responsibility” is to provide care. Although this is an understandable stance, it puts them at risk of further emotional, psychological, and physiological difficulties if their own needs are not met. Men need to be supported during this time and their caring qualities need to be destigmatized and demystified so that they can feel more able to identify with the role and look after themselves while caring for their dying partner.",
keywords = "caregiving, help-seeking, male carer, palliative care, qualitative, spouse",
author = "Rebecca Judd and Helen Guy and Ruth Howard",
note = "Judd, R., Guy, H., & Howard, R. A. (2019). Caring for a Dying Partner: The Male Experience. Journal of Palliative Care, 34(1), 5–11. https://doi.org/10.1177/0825859718774679",
year = "2019",
month = jan,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0825859718774679",
language = "English",
volume = "34",
pages = "5--11",
journal = "Journal of Palliative Care",
issn = "0825-8597",
publisher = "Institut Universitaire de Geriatrie de Montreal",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Caring for a dying partner

T2 - the Male experience

AU - Judd, Rebecca

AU - Guy, Helen

AU - Howard, Ruth

N1 - Judd, R., Guy, H., & Howard, R. A. (2019). Caring for a Dying Partner: The Male Experience. Journal of Palliative Care, 34(1), 5–11. https://doi.org/10.1177/0825859718774679

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Objective: Caring for someone close who is dying, such as a spouse, is an emotive experience; however, there is little research examining the phenomenon of caregiving for a spouse at the end of life and of men’s experiences specifically. Existing literature suggests that men who are providing care are less likely to seek help than women, especially psychological and emotional support for themselves. The aim of the current study was to explore the lived experiences of men caring for a dying spouse or partner and their help-seeking for themselves during this time.Methods: Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with men caring for their partner, who was receiving palliative care. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.Results: Three superordinate themes emerged from the data, “Illness Questions Everything,” “Constructing the Caring Role,” and “Help-Seeking at the Limit.” The arrival of a terminal illness into a partnership is traumatic, and while it can deepen relationships, it can also create distance. The carer role has conflicting demands and carers need to make sense of their experience in order for the carer role to be constructed as a source of purpose or meaning. Finally, the idea of seeking help for oneself as a carer during this time is seen as “incompatible,” unmanageable, and can only be considered if constructed as a “last resort.”Significance of Results: Men care too; however, they can feel confused by this role and unsure as to how this fits with their identity as a man. They make sense of this by identifying as a partner whose “duty” or “responsibility” is to provide care. Although this is an understandable stance, it puts them at risk of further emotional, psychological, and physiological difficulties if their own needs are not met. Men need to be supported during this time and their caring qualities need to be destigmatized and demystified so that they can feel more able to identify with the role and look after themselves while caring for their dying partner.

AB - Objective: Caring for someone close who is dying, such as a spouse, is an emotive experience; however, there is little research examining the phenomenon of caregiving for a spouse at the end of life and of men’s experiences specifically. Existing literature suggests that men who are providing care are less likely to seek help than women, especially psychological and emotional support for themselves. The aim of the current study was to explore the lived experiences of men caring for a dying spouse or partner and their help-seeking for themselves during this time.Methods: Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with men caring for their partner, who was receiving palliative care. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.Results: Three superordinate themes emerged from the data, “Illness Questions Everything,” “Constructing the Caring Role,” and “Help-Seeking at the Limit.” The arrival of a terminal illness into a partnership is traumatic, and while it can deepen relationships, it can also create distance. The carer role has conflicting demands and carers need to make sense of their experience in order for the carer role to be constructed as a source of purpose or meaning. Finally, the idea of seeking help for oneself as a carer during this time is seen as “incompatible,” unmanageable, and can only be considered if constructed as a “last resort.”Significance of Results: Men care too; however, they can feel confused by this role and unsure as to how this fits with their identity as a man. They make sense of this by identifying as a partner whose “duty” or “responsibility” is to provide care. Although this is an understandable stance, it puts them at risk of further emotional, psychological, and physiological difficulties if their own needs are not met. Men need to be supported during this time and their caring qualities need to be destigmatized and demystified so that they can feel more able to identify with the role and look after themselves while caring for their dying partner.

KW - caregiving

KW - help-seeking

KW - male carer

KW - palliative care

KW - qualitative

KW - spouse

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85047420535&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0825859718774679

DO - 10.1177/0825859718774679

M3 - Article

VL - 34

SP - 5

EP - 11

JO - Journal of Palliative Care

JF - Journal of Palliative Care

SN - 0825-8597

IS - 1

ER -