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Title: Dementia : constructing a relational perspective
Author: Merrick, K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 415X
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2012
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Section A is a review of literature which has explored the experience of dementia in the context of couple relationships. Four key themes thought to be central to this experience were identified and highlight the impact of dementia upon couple relationships, and how aspects of relationships may influence the experience of dementia. Limitations and gaps in our understanding are highlighted. Most significantly, the existent literature focuses upon care partners’ perceptions and excludes people with dementia. Therefore, it is argued that a relational understanding of the experience of dementia, in the context of couple relationships, remains unknown. The review concludes with a rationale for why further research is needed and how people with dementia could be included. Section B describes a qualitative study, using interpretative phenomenological analysis, to investigate couples’ experiences of dementia. Seven couples were interviewed and five master themes (‘foundations’, ‘altered structures’, ‘self-restoration’, ‘flexible scaffolding’ and ‘reflective capacity’) emerged from analysis of the data. These themes offer an understanding of the experience of dementia from a relational perspective and depict the ways in which couples construct their experience in order to make sense of dementia, and the processes that they adopt in order to adjust to dementia. The findings of this study are supported by existing empirical and theoretical literature and have implications for future research and clinical practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM1106 Interpersonal relations. Social behavior ; RA0790 Mental health services. Mental illness prevention ; RC0521 Dementia