Making sense of dementia: Exploring the use of the Markers of Assimilation of Problematic Experiences in Dementia scale to understand how couples process a diagnosis of dementia

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Abstract

This qualitative study aimed to see whether the Markers of Assimilation of Problematic Experiences in Dementia (MAPED) scale could be applied to couples. It aimed to explore the interactions between couples and how this affected the levels of assimilation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four heterosexual couples. The results suggested that MAPED can be usefully applied to couples. It highlighted the oscillating process which couples undergo as they process a dementia diagnosis. This supports the notion that making sense of a dementia diagnosis is not static, but a fluctuating and ever changing process. The strategies couples employed either facilitated or prevented the expression and integration of the Problematic Voice. The study highlights the importance of supporting couples together during a dementia diagnosis.

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