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The Extended Self: Illness Experiences of Older Married Arthritis Sufferers


  • Peri J. Ballantyne
  • Gillian A. Hawker
  • Detelina Radoeva


A large epidemiological survey evaluating the extent of arthritis in the population aged 55+ uncovered a discrepancy between medically assessed need for and patient willingness to consider treatment involving total joint arthroplasty. In an attempt to understand this discrepancy, we conducted a qualitative study to assess patients' experiences of the disease. This paper is focused on how the quality of the marital relationship influences the everyday functioning of arthritis sufferers. Our results suggest that in addition to the individual's functional capacity, the couple's relational and functional behaviours influence the meaning of the disease and an individual's health care decision-making.

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  • Peri J. Ballantyne & Gillian A. Hawker & Detelina Radoeva, 2001. "The Extended Self: Illness Experiences of Older Married Arthritis Sufferers," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 39, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:39

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    JEL classification:

    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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