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Body awareness in persons diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis
Sophiahemmet Högskola.
Sophiahemmet Högskola.
Karolinska institutet.
Karolinska institutet.
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2014 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 9, 24670Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) poses physiological and psychological demands on a person. RA is a autoimmune disease that can cause pain, disability, and suffering. The ability to notice bodily inner sensations and stimuli (body awareness, BA) is described in the literature in ways that could have either a positive or a negative impact on a person's health. The concept of BA is complex and a thorough understanding is needed about what BA means from the patient's perspective. This study was therefore conducted to acquire greater insight into this phenomenon. The study is grounded in a phenomenological life-world perspective. Eighteen narrative interviews were conducted in patients (age range 23–78 years) with RA. The interviews were analyzed using the Empirical Phenomenological Psychological method. General characteristics were found running through all 18 interviews, indicating that the disease resulted in a higher degree of negatively toned BA. BA was either a reactive process of searching or controlling after disease-related symptoms or a reactive process triggered by emotions. BA was an active process of taking an inventory of abilities. All participants had the ability to shift focus from BA to the outside world. Four typologies were identified: “A reactive process on symptoms,” “A reactive process on emotional triggers,” “An active process of taking an inventory of abilities,” and “A shifting from BA to the outside world.” In conclusion, because BA can be both positively and negatively toned, health care professionals must have a good understanding of when BA is positive and when it is negative in relation to the patient. RA had caused a higher degree of negatively toned BA. Thus, the ability to shift attention from BA to activity in the outside world could sometimes be beneficial for the patient's general health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, 24670
Keyword [en]
Body awareness, Phenomenology, Life-world perspective, Lived experience, Rheumatoid arthritis
National Category
Health Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-4188DOI: 10.3402/qhw.v9.24670PubMedID: 25363521OAI: diva2:762007

Funding: This study was funded by Sophiahemmet University, Sophiahemmet Foundation, in Stockholm.

Available from: 2014-11-10 Created: 2014-11-10 Last updated: 2015-06-17Bibliographically approved

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