Psychosocial adjustment to multiple sclerosis: exploration of identity redefinition

Catherine Irvine, Cherie Davidson, Katrina Hoy, Andrea Lowe-Strong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract: Purpose. As multiple sclerosis (MS) often occurs in the prime of life and is unpredictable in nature, there is likely to be a strong psychological effect, with changes in values and beliefs and how the individual sees him or her self. This article presents the findings of a focus group study which aimed to explore the subjective experiences of living with, and adjusting to, MS.Method. Seven individuals who had been diagnosed with MS for at least 5 years reflected on their reactions to being diagnosed, how they cope with the day to day challenges of the disease, and the changes that they have experienced. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.Results. Diagnosis was met with negative reactions: denial, concealment and diminished confidence. However, the majority reported that, over time, there were positive changes in terms of their values and outlook. It would appear that the functional difficulties and psychological challenges, such as uncertainty and depression, are ameliorated to some extent by an increased appreciation for life and spirituality.Conclusions. The findings provide insight into the psychological process of identity redefinition associated with adjusting to MS. Given this, interventions should target role/identity re-examination to assist individuals with MS in better managing the disease and enjoying life.Keywords: Identity redefinition, multiple sclerosis, psychosocial adjustment, self-concept, support
LanguageEnglish
Pages599-606
JournalDISABILITY AND REHABILITATION
Volume31
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2009

Fingerprint

Social Adjustment
Multiple Sclerosis
Psychology
Spirituality
Ego
Focus Groups
Self Concept
Uncertainty
Depression

Keywords

  • Identity redefinition
  • multiple sclerosis
  • psychosocial adjustment
  • self-soncept
  • support

Cite this

Irvine, Catherine ; Davidson, Cherie ; Hoy, Katrina ; Lowe-Strong, Andrea. / Psychosocial adjustment to multiple sclerosis: exploration of identity redefinition. In: DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION. 2009 ; Vol. 31, No. 8. pp. 599-606.
@article{86e6a6c5ac754de6a459cf54adb039cf,
title = "Psychosocial adjustment to multiple sclerosis: exploration of identity redefinition",
abstract = "Abstract: Purpose. As multiple sclerosis (MS) often occurs in the prime of life and is unpredictable in nature, there is likely to be a strong psychological effect, with changes in values and beliefs and how the individual sees him or her self. This article presents the findings of a focus group study which aimed to explore the subjective experiences of living with, and adjusting to, MS.Method. Seven individuals who had been diagnosed with MS for at least 5 years reflected on their reactions to being diagnosed, how they cope with the day to day challenges of the disease, and the changes that they have experienced. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.Results. Diagnosis was met with negative reactions: denial, concealment and diminished confidence. However, the majority reported that, over time, there were positive changes in terms of their values and outlook. It would appear that the functional difficulties and psychological challenges, such as uncertainty and depression, are ameliorated to some extent by an increased appreciation for life and spirituality.Conclusions. The findings provide insight into the psychological process of identity redefinition associated with adjusting to MS. Given this, interventions should target role/identity re-examination to assist individuals with MS in better managing the disease and enjoying life.Keywords: Identity redefinition, multiple sclerosis, psychosocial adjustment, self-concept, support",
keywords = "Identity redefinition, multiple sclerosis, psychosocial adjustment, self-soncept, support",
author = "Catherine Irvine and Cherie Davidson and Katrina Hoy and Andrea Lowe-Strong",
year = "2009",
month = "3",
day = "11",
doi = "10.1080/09638280802243286",
language = "English",
volume = "31",
pages = "599--606",
journal = "Disability and Rehabilitation",
issn = "0963-8288",
number = "8",

}

Psychosocial adjustment to multiple sclerosis: exploration of identity redefinition. / Irvine, Catherine; Davidson, Cherie; Hoy, Katrina; Lowe-Strong, Andrea.

In: DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION, Vol. 31, No. 8, 11.03.2009, p. 599-606.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Psychosocial adjustment to multiple sclerosis: exploration of identity redefinition

AU - Irvine, Catherine

AU - Davidson, Cherie

AU - Hoy, Katrina

AU - Lowe-Strong, Andrea

PY - 2009/3/11

Y1 - 2009/3/11

N2 - Abstract: Purpose. As multiple sclerosis (MS) often occurs in the prime of life and is unpredictable in nature, there is likely to be a strong psychological effect, with changes in values and beliefs and how the individual sees him or her self. This article presents the findings of a focus group study which aimed to explore the subjective experiences of living with, and adjusting to, MS.Method. Seven individuals who had been diagnosed with MS for at least 5 years reflected on their reactions to being diagnosed, how they cope with the day to day challenges of the disease, and the changes that they have experienced. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.Results. Diagnosis was met with negative reactions: denial, concealment and diminished confidence. However, the majority reported that, over time, there were positive changes in terms of their values and outlook. It would appear that the functional difficulties and psychological challenges, such as uncertainty and depression, are ameliorated to some extent by an increased appreciation for life and spirituality.Conclusions. The findings provide insight into the psychological process of identity redefinition associated with adjusting to MS. Given this, interventions should target role/identity re-examination to assist individuals with MS in better managing the disease and enjoying life.Keywords: Identity redefinition, multiple sclerosis, psychosocial adjustment, self-concept, support

AB - Abstract: Purpose. As multiple sclerosis (MS) often occurs in the prime of life and is unpredictable in nature, there is likely to be a strong psychological effect, with changes in values and beliefs and how the individual sees him or her self. This article presents the findings of a focus group study which aimed to explore the subjective experiences of living with, and adjusting to, MS.Method. Seven individuals who had been diagnosed with MS for at least 5 years reflected on their reactions to being diagnosed, how they cope with the day to day challenges of the disease, and the changes that they have experienced. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.Results. Diagnosis was met with negative reactions: denial, concealment and diminished confidence. However, the majority reported that, over time, there were positive changes in terms of their values and outlook. It would appear that the functional difficulties and psychological challenges, such as uncertainty and depression, are ameliorated to some extent by an increased appreciation for life and spirituality.Conclusions. The findings provide insight into the psychological process of identity redefinition associated with adjusting to MS. Given this, interventions should target role/identity re-examination to assist individuals with MS in better managing the disease and enjoying life.Keywords: Identity redefinition, multiple sclerosis, psychosocial adjustment, self-concept, support

KW - Identity redefinition

KW - multiple sclerosis

KW - psychosocial adjustment

KW - self-soncept

KW - support

U2 - 10.1080/09638280802243286

DO - 10.1080/09638280802243286

M3 - Article

VL - 31

SP - 599

EP - 606

JO - Disability and Rehabilitation

T2 - Disability and Rehabilitation

JF - Disability and Rehabilitation

SN - 0963-8288

IS - 8

ER -