egberg l., andreassen s. & mattiasson a-c. (2013) Living a demanding life – spouses’ experiences of living with a person suffering from intermittent claudication. Journal of Advanced Nursing69(3), 610–618. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06043.x
Aim. To report a study of family members’ experiences of living with a person suffering from intermittent claudication caused by peripheral arterial disease.
Background. Intermittent claudication is a symptom caused by peripheral arterial disease. Walking ability is reduced due to pain and this also affects the family members and leads to consequences such as isolation and a restricted life.
Design. This study has a qualitative descriptive design.
Methods. Ten spouses living with a person suffering from intermittent claudication were interviewed between December 2009–June 2010. The interviews were then analysed using qualitative thematic analysis.
Findings. Four themes were identified: ‘Frustrating to not meet intentions’, ‘Undergoing changes in social life’, ‘Being a person on the side of things’ and ‘Intertwining of circumstances’. The overall theme ‘Living a demanding life’ illustrates that intermittent claudication has great impact on daily life among spouses.
Conclusion. This study gives an insight into the complexities and the difficulties of living together with someone suffering from intermittent claudication, a symptom that has great impact on both the spouses’ and the ill persons’ lives. According to the findings in this study, it is important to gain knowledge about the spouses’ experiences because an holistic perspective is essential to treat and support the ill persons and their spouses.