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December 2021

Narratives of family caregiving: Four story types

Journal/Book: Res Nurs Health. 2000; 23: 605 Third Ave, New York, NY 10158-0012, USA. John Wiley & Sons Inc. 359-371.

Abstract: Researchers across disciplines have recognized considerable individual variation among caregivers in their response to the experiences of caregiving. One explanation for individual variation Is that caregivers make different meanings from caregiving even under externally similar circumstances. This paper describes findings from a study that combined two qualitative strategies, across-case, thematic analysis and within-case, narrative analysis, to investigate meaning in accounts of family caregiving. Themes identified in the across-case analysis were interpreted in the context of patterns identified in the narrative analysis, as well as in the overall framework of caregivers' process of making meaning. Caregivers in this study told four types of stories: stories of ideal lives, stories of ordinary lives, stories of compromised lives, and ambiguous stories. Characteristics of each story type are described, and an example of an ambiguous story is also included as an illustration of the method. Findings suggest a new approach to understanding family caregiving that incorporates the diverse meanings caregivers make of their often similar experiences.

Note: Article Ayres L, Univ Wisconsin, Sch Nursing, Ctr Clin Sci, 600 Highland Ave, Madison,WI 53792 USA

Keyword(s): narrative; qualitative research; caregivers; GENDER DIFFERENCES; DEMENTIA; BURDEN; STRESS; OUTCOMES; CONTEXT

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