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A phenomenological study of fibromyalgia (FM). Patient perspectives

  [ 36 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • March 15, 1999

OBJECTIVE: To describe the way in which the fibromyalgia patients
understand the meaning of their illness.

DESIGN: Qualitative,
empirical phenomenological psychological method.

collaborative transdisciplinary interview study of patients'
described experiences of living with fibromyalgia. No
therapeutic relationships existed between patients and

SUBJECTS: Eighteen patients with fibromyalgia
were interviewed. Ten of the 18 taped interviews were
transcribed and analysed.

narratives, described experiences of living with fibromyalgia.

RESULTS: The patients were intensively involved in efforts to
get their self-images as ill persons confirmed. Their
experience was that the disease started dramatically, with a
variety of capriciously appearing symptoms of unknown cause
that gave rise to the suffering. The fibromyalgia patients
seemed to develop strategies to cope with a precarious
self-image and find ways to manage the thought of what the
future would bring.

CONCLUSION: The meaning structures
revealed in the patients' ways of describing their experiences
of living with fibromyalgia seemed to be partially constituted
by their efforts to stand forth as afflicted with a disease,
which could be a way to help them to manage the demands that
they placed upon themselves.

Hellstrom O, Bullington J, Karlsson G, Lindqvist P, Mattsson B

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