Objective: The objective of the present study was to analyze and describe the phenomenon of learning to live with long-term illness.
Method: The design and implementation of the research was based on a reflective lifeworld approach. The study consisted of interviews with people who live with different types of long-term illness.
Results: Learning to live with a long-term illness happens in such a way as to respond to the will to live everyday life. The essential meaning of learning to live with long-term illness is constituted by the following elements: learning to know and live with a stranger, the driving forces of learning, learning methods are a balancing act, making the illness visible, as well as seeking knowledge and understanding. The result of the learning process can be understood as movement to a new understanding that is shown in the way the person with the illness acts and gives herself with the illness more space in life.
Conclusion: The results show that genuine learning is something that differs from learning information and that the learning must be supported by the sufferer’s situation for a long period of time at an existential level.
OMICS Publishing Group , 2012. Vol. 1, no 6