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PURPOSE: The aim of the present study was to explore the experiences and impact of caring for an individual with severe osteoarthritis (OA) from the perspective of adult children, looking at the relationship between adult children caring for parents with this condition and the tensions of the 'sandwich generation'. METHODS: A mixed qualitative approach, combining focus groups and individual semi-structured interviews was used. In total, 36 participants were purposively sampled and discussed the impact of caring for a parent with OA. Data analysis was based upon interpretative phenomenological analysis. RESULTS: Findings reported the impact and complexity of caring for a parent with OA. We present three themes related to the work of caring for a relative with this condition: (i) the physical and emotional work of caring; (ii) changes in reciprocal family roles; (iii) the imbalance in caring roles within the family. CONCLUSIONS: Participants described the significant and extensive impact on their lives of caring for a parent with long-term OA, particularly when faced with the pressures of caring for their own children as well. Copyright © 2016 The Authors Musculoskeletal Care Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Musculoskeletal care

Publication Date





49 - 58


Osteoarthritis, caregiving, family, qualitative, Adult Children, Caregivers, Female, Focus Groups, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Male, Osteoarthritis