OBJECTIVE: To describe the way in which the fibromyalgia patients
understand the meaning of their illness.
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.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patients’
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