Abstract: The lived experience of fibromyalgia in African American women

Holist Nurs Pract. 2005 Jan-Feb;19(1):17-25.

Schaefer KM.

Department of Nursing, College of Health Professions, Temple University, 3307 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA. karen.schaefer@temple.edu

This study aimed to learn what it is like for African American women to live with fibromyalgia. Van Manen’s phenomenological method of writing and rewriting guided the inquiry. The sample included 10 women, who were interviewed for 30 to 60 minutes each. Two agreed to second interviews, for a total of 12 interviews for data analysis.

Data analysis revealed the following themes: (a) managing the symptoms, (b) becoming a self-advocate, (c) medications camouflage the pain, (d) coming to grips with the illness means making changes, (e) being accused of “taking a free ride” angers them, (f) support comes from self and spiritual connections, and (g) a certain amount of secrecy makes it easier to live with the illness. Recommendations focus on using a holistic approach to help African American women achieve or maintain their integrity.

PMID: 15736726 [PubMed – in process]

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