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Psychosocial vulnerability & maintaining forces related to fibromyalgia (FM). In-depth interviews with twenty-two female patients

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By Hallberg LR, Carlsson SG • www.ProHealth.com • April 1, 1998


The aim of this qualitative study was to describe, from the
perspective of 22 women (aged 22-60 years) with fibromyalgia,
their experiences and beliefs of the pain and its origin and
how the pain affects family and social life. Open-ended
interviews were analysed via a method influenced by grounded
theory. Seven descriptive categories were grounded in the
data, forming two higher-order concepts: psychosocial
vulnerability and maintaining forces. The first of these core
concepts, psychosocial vulnerability, comprises the
categories: traumatic life history, over-compensatory
perseverance, pessimistic life view, and unsatisfying work
situation. In the interviews, there are abundant examples of
early loss, high degree of responsibility early in life, and
social problems with feelings of helplessness and hoplessness
later in life. The second core concept, maintaining forces,
consists of the categories professional care, pain benefits
and family support, which seem to contribute to the
persistence of pain. Our results indicate intrapsychic and
psychosocial dimensions, which support the hypothesis that
individuals with insecure attachment styles are
overrepresented among patients with chronic pain.




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