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Abstract: The meaning of fatigue and tiredness as narrated by women with fibromyalgia and healthy women

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www.ProHealth.com • March 22, 2002


Journal: J Clin Nurs 2002 Mar;11(2):247-255

Authors: Soderberg S, Lundman B, Norberg A.

Affiliations: Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Lulea University of Technology, Lulea, Sweden, Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Umea University, Umea, Sweden, Professor, Department of Nursing, Umea University, Umea, Sweden.

NLM Citation: PMID: 11903724

The aim of this study was to elucidate the meaning of fatigue and tiredness as narrated by women with fibromyalgia (FM) and healthy women. Twenty-five women with FM were interviewed with a narrative approach about the meaning of the lived experience of fatigue and tiredness. A reference group of 25 healthy women was interviewed about the same topic.

A phenomenological-hermeneutic method inspired by the French philosopher Ricoeur was used to interpret the interview text.

The meaning of fatigue and tiredness was related differently by women with FM and healthy women. The findings are presented in four major themes for women with FM - the body as a burden, an absent presence, an interfering obstacle and being in hope of alleviation - and in one major theme for healthy women: needing recovery.

Women with FM narrated fatigue as making it obvious that I have a body, instead of I am my body; the lived body becomes urgently present, as an 'it'. Healthy women narrated tiredness as a natural phenomenon when they need recovery and time to rest.

The findings are interpreted in the light of the phenomenological work on the lived body by Leder, Toombs and Merleau-Ponty.




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