Women confronting the reality of multiple sclerosis: a qualitative model of self-healing

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Health
Department Health Promotion & Education
Author Romagosa, Carol J.
Title Women confronting the reality of multiple sclerosis: a qualitative model of self-healing
Date 2010-08
Description 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.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Chronic illness; Coping; Healing; Uncertainty
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Carol J. Romagosa 2010
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 357,180 bytes
Source original in Marriott Library Special Collections ; RC39.5 2010 .R65
ARK ark:/87278/s65t416z
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-24
Date Modified 2018-02-16
ID 194409
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s65t416z