Martine graduated from Aberystwyth in 2012 with 1st Class Honours in Psychology, gained a distinction in her Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education in 2015, and gained her PhD in 2017.
Couples' management of lifestyle change after diagnosis with coronary heart disease.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death globally (WHO, 2014). In general, people in long-term relationships have lower incidence of and better recovery from heart attacks and cardiac surgery than those who live alone (Idler, Boulifard, & Contrada, 2012). Changes in behaviours relating to diet, exercise and smoking are associated with better health outcomes for patients with CHD, with people in long-term relationships more likely to make these changes. Such benefits are not universal, however. Couples' day-to-day health interactions may account for some the complexity of these health and ill-health concordances (Lewis & Butterfield, 2007), although these micro-level processes are not well understood. My PhD examines how couples talk about and manage the lifestyle changes that are advised after a partner is diagnosed with CHD. Participating couples, recruited in the first two weeksafter a new diagnosis, were interviewed once a month for three months over the course of their recovery. From a critical health perspective, I examine how couples negotiate lifestyle advice and information in a context of neoliberal understandings of and focus upon health. Using a discursive approach, I identify the ways in which couples adopt, resist and transform wider social discourses of health, and the dynamics and complexities of health-advice giving and receiving within intimate relationships.