Struggling to maintain balance: a study of women living with fibromyalgia (FM)

Thirty-six women with fibromyalgia (FM) were asked to describe
how they live with their FM. Data were analysed using the
constant comparative method. The goal was understanding the
process of living with FM through theory development. The
women described living with FM as struggling to maintain
balance; this involves recalling perceived normality,
searching for a diagnosis, finding out and moving on
(transcending the illness). Several women relinquished the
struggle because of situations that may or may not be under
their control (e.g. depression and feeling imprisoned by
treatment). Over time the illness moves from being a primary
life focus to being part of the backdrop of the lives of women
with FM.

Schaefer KM

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