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Title: The development of a theory of psychological adjustment to multiple sclerosis based on accounts of subjective experience.
Author: Reed, Jonathan.
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 1997
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This study explores the process of psychological adjustment to multiple sclerosis. Fourteen participants who were given a definite diagnosis of multiple sclerosis between five and forty years prior to the study and who experienced the relapse-remitting form of the diseasew ere interviewed face to face using a semi structuredi nterview schedule. Grounded theory was used to analyse the interviews and to build a theoretical account of the process of psychological adjustment to multiple sclerosis. The results suggest a model of adjustment in which some individuals with multiple sclerosism ove from a stanceo f denial to a position of acknowledgemenitn response to the progresso f the disease. Reachinga cknowledgemenat llows individuals to adopt an active coping stance which can protect against negative psychological consequences. This adjustment process takes place against an overall process in which individuals experience multiple sclerosis as a progression through a series of different diseasep hases.F indings suggestt hat individualsa lso havet o adjust within the social context. Role adjustment and communication were found to be central issues in the family adjustment process. Communication was also central to adjustment in the wider social context. Participants' serviceu se suggestst hat they also undertakea n adjustmentf rom relianceo n medicala pproachesto seekingo ut self help and alternative approaches. It is argued that this service use process reflects the individual adjustment process. The findings are critically evaluated and compared to existing models of adaptation to chronic illness. The clinical and service implications are discussed. A critical discussion of the methodology is presented and implications for further research are explored
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: DClinPsych thesis Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chronic illness