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ERIC Number: ED523019
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 158
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-7596-0
Women Confronting the Reality of Multiple Sclerosis: A Qualitative Model of Self-Healing
Romagosa, Carol J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Utah
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic debilitating disease that has an uncertain course. Although uncertainty is a universal experience in chronic illness, uncertainty in MS is especially threatening to psychological well-being. Chronic illness, including conditions of disability, is one of our greatest health care problems as society ages. Never completely cured, chronic illness forces people to adapt in order to cope with their new health status. Given these conditions, health educators will need to direct more attention to tertiary prevention and rehabilitation in health promotion and education. To help people cope effectively, educators will need to understand how people attempt to manage their lives with chronic illness. Chronic illness is the human experience of suffering symptoms and distress. Healing is a personal experiential process of the transcendence of suffering. People transcend or move beyond suffering and integrate uncertainty into their lives by revising their life narratives to find new purpose, meaning, and acceptance of illness and the self with illness. In this context, self-healing is the tendency of human beings to bounce back from adversity through a desire to be effective in coping with their world even in the continuing presence of disease. The purpose of this study was to explore the question: How do women with the chronic illness multiple sclerosis cope with the distress of MS and move through and beyond suffering into a proactive process of self-healing? This qualitative study explored the phenomenon of self-healing and used grounded theory principles and methods to develop a theoretical model that provides an understanding of how the women coped with their illness and moved into a proactive coping and self-healing process. Coding and analysis of the participants' interviews found that they employed strategies of living one day at a time, focusing on positive aspects of the experience, and redefining values. Their efforts to change manifested in a need for autonomy, social support, and competence. Stories and metaphors from participants' interviews can help health educators understand the meaning of their self-healing. Health education approaches that use story and metaphor to facilitate and support individual self-healing are suggested. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A