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ERIC Number: ED565982
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 285
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-2068-0
ISSN: N/A
"A Group of Me's": Adult Learning through Group Process: The Experiences of Participants in a Teleconference Delivered Multiple Sclerosis Fatigue Management Program
Preissner, Katharine L.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive neurological disorder that affects approximately 2.1 million people worldwide. Fatigue is one of the most common and most disabling symptoms of MS. One well-established approach to address fatigue is fatigue management education provided by an occupational therapist. Fatigue management education is effective in face-to-face, online, and teleconference formats. While researchers have discussed why positive changes occur in people with MS who participate in fatigue management education, the focus has been on the perceptions of occupational therapists, not participants. Therefore there is a need for a deeper understanding of the learning process that supports change in fatigue management education from the perspective of people with MS. In response, a qualitative case study method was used to explore how and what participants learned from the group process and how the group process supported participants in managing fatigue. Seven participants took part in the study. Data sources included transcripts of interviews and group sessions. Several themes emerged from the data, and were organized in two parts. Part I Findings: The participants described their fatigue in terms of its characteristics, how fatigue interacted with other factors, physical and mental manifestations of fatigue, and used emotion-focused words to describe their fatigue. Perceptions about fatigue and identity were intertwined, and activity performance and identity were interrelated. Group process shaped views of self. Some participants underwent a mourning process which led to a resolution of a new identity. Part II findings concerned the learning process, its outcomes, and the types of learning involved. Group process facilitated learning. The outcomes of learning included changes in fatigue management conceptualization and behavior. Through their interactions, participants developed acceptance and self-compassion, which supported learning. They engaged in several types of learning: social, experiential, informal, and transformational learning. Three conclusions were derived from the findings: 1) Perceptions of MS fatigue, fatigue management, and identity are closely related, 2) Group process supports learning, and 3) Acceptance and self-compassion provides emotional benefits and facilitates learning by giving "permission" to learning about and use fatigue management strategies. [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: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A