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Struggling with an unfamiliar and unreliable body: the experience of irritable bowel syndrome
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences.
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3702-3831
Ersta Hospital, Stockholm.
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness, ISSN 1752-9824, Vol. 1, no 1, 29-38 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim. To describe the phenomenon living with irritable bowel syndrome from a life-world perspective.

Background. Ten to twenty per cent of the adult population in the world is known to live with irritable bowel syndrome. The life-world experience of people with irritable bowel syndrome has been paid little attention. A deeper understanding about the phenomenon living with irritable bowel syndrome is of interest for the future development of care.

Design and methods. The study was performed using a phenomenological method. Data was collected by in-depth, open interviews performed in 2006, with nine persons between 25–55 years, diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. The interviews were analysed according to the method of Giorgi.

Results. Six interrelated key constituents have been identified: Having an altered self-image, feeling ashamed, distrusting the body, feeling tired, blaming oneself, and finding solutions. A structure has been formulated, describing that living with irritable bowel syndrome means struggling with an unfamiliar and unreliable body. Tiredness, distrust, and feelings of shame towards the body bring about limitations in everyday life. At the same time, living with irritable bowel syndrome means having a strong will to exceed the limitations and become familiar with one self.

Conclusion. This study suggests that living with irritable bowel syndrome means to struggle with an unfamiliar and unreliable body that brings about changes of self-image and limitations in every day life. Feelings of distrust, shame and embarrassment towards troublesome symptoms, are important contributions to the limitations experienced.

Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses have a major role to play in the care for people with irritable bowel syndrome. A caring perspective, in which the life-world is central, is an important approach to care for these persons. Using the dialogue as a forum where patients can share their unique life-world experiences lets nurses gather knowledge that is essential in helping patients identify and acknowledge new and positive understandings of the lived body.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Blackwell Publishing , 2009. Vol. 1, no 1, 29-38 p.
Keyword [en]
chronic illness • interviews • patients' experience • phenomenology
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Nursing Nursing
Research subject
vårdvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-5984DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.01001.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-5984DiVA: diva2:202376
Available from: 2009-03-10 Created: 2009-03-10 Last updated: 2016-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122196949/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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