Women Coping With a Partner's Dementia-Related Violence: A Qualitative Study

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Purpose: The aim of the present study was to differentiate between the lived experience of two groups of women caregiving for a partner with dementia. One group was coping with lifelong intimate partner violence (IPV) and dementia-related violence (Group 1); the other group was coping with dementia-related violence only (Group 2). Design: An interpretive phenomenological analysis perspective was used. Data collection was performed through in-depth, semistructured interviews with eight female spouses of men with dementia from each of the two above-mentioned groups, followed by a content analysis. Findings: Comparing the narratives of the aging women revealed their different experiences over several dimensions: (a) the identification of violence as a symptom of dementia; (b) the use of past couplehood memories; (c) feelings over time; (d) willingness to care for the partner with dementia; and (e) a prospective view of life. Conclusions: The complexities of being old and having to cope with caregiving responsibilities for a spouse with dementia, accompanied by violent behaviors, emphasize the significance of the couple's past relationship. This notion should be taken into account in practical interventions. Clinical Relevance: As part of the aging process, there is an increase in people who are engaged in dementia-related violence. Nurses' education and practice should focus on the dynamics of dyads coping with violence and identify the particular needs of the caregiver spouse in this context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-379
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Sigma Theta Tau International


  • Intimate partner violence
  • care giving
  • dementia
  • qualitative analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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