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“Governed by the pain”: Narratives of Fibromyalgia

McMahon, Lindsay and Murray, Craig and Sanderson, J. and Daiches, Anna (2012) “Governed by the pain”: Narratives of Fibromyalgia. Disability and Rehabilitation, 34 (16). pp. 1358-1366. ISSN 0963-8288

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Abstract

Purpose: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic syndrome characterized by pain and fatigue. The aim of this study was to explore how individuals with FM make sense of the illness experience and integrate it into their personal biographies. Method: Ten women from a pain management service in the north west of England were interviewed for the study. A chronological summary of each life story was produced and narrative features such as plot, tone, imagery and metaphors were identified and compared. Results: Findings are presented in the form of a meta-narrative incorporating all 10 narratives over five phases: (1) making sense of FM: when I was younger, I didn’t have any problems at all; (2) onset and diagnosis: you just feel like you’re constantly complaining; (3) invasion of FM: you’re just trapped; trapped in this body; (4) coping with FM: you try to do things in a pattern it will obey and (5) ongoing struggle: I refuse to give in to it. Conclusions: The narrative is characterized by a lack of movement and resolution, with participants engaged in an enduring struggle against the challenges of FM. Psychological approaches that facilitate this ongoing adjustment process may prove beneficial in FM treatment and rehabilitation. Implications for Rehabilitation Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic syndrome characterized by pain and fatigue. This study shows women with FM are engaged in an enduring struggle against the challenges this presents. Psychological approaches which acknowledge and facilitate the adjustment process may prove beneficial in terms of assisting rehabilitation for this client group.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Disability and Rehabilitation
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fibromyalgia ; illness experience ; narrative analysis
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
ID Code: 57319
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 14 Aug 2012 08:56
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2014 16:53
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/57319

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