The autoimmune disease Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) causes great suffering for many people. The purpose of the study was to enrich knowledge and increase understanding on how people suffering from RA understand and experience what turned on their illness, how long-term stress impacts the symptoms of RA as well as their attributional style after trauma. The methodology of the study was based on the Vancouver school of doing phenomenology. Data was collected through 18 dialogues with 8 persons suffering from RA. Participants were seen as co-researchers and were consulted about the interpretation of data and conclusions to increase validity of the study. Findings revealed that according to the co-researchers extreme traumatic stress caused by physical or psychological trauma stimulated or turned on the disease. They felt the disease was aggravated by stress causing the disease to ‘flare upp’ under great or long-term stress. Some outer factors that were perceived to cause the development of long-term stress were e.g. studies-related or work-related pressure, marital problems, negative communicative mode of health professionals, lack of understanding from the environment, and worries. Inner factors included bottled-up anger and suffering in silence, which can initially be seen as an attributional style but have longterm negative effects. A dominating attributional style among co-researchers was stamina or “not to give up.“ Factors that were perceived to increase stamina were: faith and hope, self-knowledge and self-development, true friendship, empathy, expressive arts and creative writing. The study broadens the understanding of the need for a holistic view of treatment for people suffering from RA and serious psychological trauma.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2008|
- Sálræn áföll
- Arthritis, Rheumatoid
- Stress, Psychological