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Unravelling Swedish informal caregivers' Generalised Resistance Deficits

In salutogenic theory, individual/contextual, immaterial/material characteristics enabling movements towards health are labelled Specific and Generalised Resistance Resources, SRRs/GRRs, and characteristics counteracting such movements Specific and Generalised Resistance Deficits, SRDs/GRDs. The aim of this paper was to present SRDs and GRDs described by caregivers as stemming from themselves and their care recipient. Guided by salutogenic theory, an explorative design was used to collect data through interviews with 32 Swedish informal caregivers. During the theory-driven analysis, SRDs were unravelled using within-case approaches. To be able to unite them as GRDs across cases, a serviceable GRD definition was developed from the existing theoretical GRR definition. In findings, SRDs are visualised in citations and GRDs described in detail. Caregivers' experiences of SRDs/GRDs are presented as themes: 'Experiencing personal deficiencies', when stemming from themselves; and 'Struggling with an uncooperative co-worker', when stemming from their care recipients. Findings indicate that if these themes dominate a caregiver's view of life, she/he seems to have reached the 'breaking point' when caregiving ends due to lack of usable SRRs/GRRs. To prolong the time until this occurs, support, making otherwise unusable SRRs/GRRs usable, is needed. When designing this type of 'salutogenic' support, it seems essential to involve the target group (e.g. caregivers, care recipients), to ascertain what their SRRs/GRRs and SRDs/GRDs may consist of. Such knowledge regarding SRRs/SRDs could be used to design individualised support, and regarding GRRs/GRDs to design generalised support at group level. This study suggests how such new knowledge regarding resistance resources and deficits could be acquired.

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Journal article
Taylor & Francis
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Scandinavian Journal Of Caring Sciences
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