Men's experiences of giving and taking social support after their wife's spinal cord injury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of how men living with women with spinal cord injury (SCI) experienced and acted when they were giving and taking social support to and from their wives and other persons in their social network. Another aim was to give some possible explanations of the complex process of change that they went through. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with four men and field notes. To describe the men's subjective experiences and the process of change, a narrative approach inspired by Polkinghorne was used. The analyses resulted in one story that included the four men's experiences and action. The story showed that when the men went through a process of change, they used and needed both emotional and practical support to handle their new life situation. Furthermore, the men's experiences and action against social support changed over time. This indicated that, through narratives from spouses, professionals within rehabilitation could understand the process of change they went through after their partner's sudden injury, and support them to find strategies to handle their changed life situation. To give some possible explanations for the men's experiences and action during the process of change, the findings are discussed in relation to theories concerning adaptation and coping.


  • Gunilla Isaksson
  • Staffan Josephsson
  • Jan Lexell
  • Lisa Skar
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Occupational Therapy


  • rehabilitation, occupational therapy, Adaptation, coping, spouses, support, social
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-246
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch