When one partner can no longer see: Exploring the lived experiences of romantic partners in the context of vision loss

This qualitative descriptive study aims to explore the lived experience of the adjustment process of couples who face vision loss, investigating the impact of such loss on daily life and the adjustments and adaptations that ensue. To undertake such an exploration, the application of an occupational perspective is relevant where the meaning and purpose partners ascribe to their everyday activities can be investigated. A total of 16 couples living in Western Switzerland were interviewed between January and June 2020. Data collection was carried out with semi-structured face-to-face interview. Three themes emerge from the thematic analysis of transcripts. The first theme emphasizes that either separate or joint everyday activities of partners can be shared within couples, which all give sense to the partnership; the second one shows that vision loss disrupts the engagement of partners in such shared everyday activities. The third theme highlights partners’ efforts to reshape their engagement in their shared everyday activities in order to maintain a sense of couple’s we-ness. While navigating vision loss requires both partners to jointly engage in this process of reshaping, couples described tension that arises because of the partners with vision loss’ growing dependence on the other partner. One’s sense of control when navigating vision loss is critical to adjust to a changing and changed daily life. Further research is needed that focuses on how romantic partners ascribe a shared meaning and purpose to their engagement in everyday activities, separate or joint, and how such meaning and purpose are impacted by the onset or aggravation of one partner’s vision loss.

Vrkljan Brenda
Fournier Jennifer
Masse Manon
Vuillerme Nicolas
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Recherche(s) en relation

Bertrand, R., Vrkljan, B., Kühne, N., Charvoz, L., Fournier, J., Masse, M., Veyre, A., Vuillerme, N. (2022). When one partner can no longer see: Exploring the lived experiences of romantic partners in the context of vision loss. British Journal of Visual Impairment.https://doi.org/10.1177/02646196221139780