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The partners’ perspective on giving social support and coping with fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus : a qualitative study

Flöttmann, M. (2015) The partners’ perspective on giving social support and coping with fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus : a qualitative study.

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Abstract:Background: This qualitative study aimed to explore the partner’s perspective on giving social support and coping with his/her spouse’s SLE related fatigue. SLE is a chronic disease and severe fatigue seems to be one of the most debilitating symptoms. Since the partner is an important source of social support and also has to cope with his/her spouse’s fatigue for his/her own, it is important to gain insight into his perspective on the spouse’s fatigue Method: The study population consisted of 1 female and 8 male respondents who had a partner suffering from SLE related fatigue. Respondents were recruited at the World Lupus Day 2014 and interviewed by two master students. The semi-structured interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data were then analyzed using a code scheme that was developed by an inductive and deductive approach. Results: Most of the partners had a broad behavioral repertoire in order to cope with the spouse’s fatigue and offer support. Taking over household duties (instrumental support) and advising the partner to stop doing tasks (informational support) were perceived as most effective by the partners regarding their spouse’s SLE related fatigue. Most of the partners reported that they could accept their spouse’s fatigue and that they were satisfied with their way of coping and giving support. Only the two partners who reported not being able to accept their spouse’s fatigue, also reported being unsatisfied with their way of coping and giving support. Conclusion: This study highlights the dynamic process of supporting the spouse and coping with his/her SLE related fatigue and the importance of the partner’s acceptance. Therefore, future research should further investigate the relation between the partner’s acceptance, coping and social support in the context of SLE related fatigue. Finally, interventions that enhance the acceptance and well-being should be targeted at partners of people with SLE related fatigue.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68319
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