Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The experience of fybromyalgia : a narrative inquiry
Author: McMahon, Lindsay
ISNI:       0000 0004 2715 2880
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a medically unexplained syndrome characterized by persistent widespread pain, heightened pain sensitivity and profound fatigue. While some research has aimed to understand the experiences of people with FM, studies employing narrative approaches are particularly lacking. A narrative perspective assumes that individuals have a natural inclination to tell stories about their lives so as to situate events in a temporal order and infer meaning and coherence to their varying experiences. In section one, the extant qualitative literature on the experience of FM is reviewed from a narrative perspective and with reference to research and theory on chronic illness and identity. The review argues that narrative analysis provides a valuable method for exploring the experience of FM, since it addresses issues of self and culture and offers an insight into how meanings evolve over time. It is proposed that consideration of these issues is particularly relevant to understanding the experiences of people with FM given the enigmatic nature of the syndrome and its chronic course. Section two reports findings from a qualitative study in which the stories often women with FM were analysed using a narrative approach. Results are presented in the form of a meta-narrative incorporating the stories of all ten participants over five phases. The meta-narrative is characterised by a distinct lack of movement and resolution, with the women seemingly engaged in an enduring conflict against the challenges of FM, and a reconfiguration of their identities. The findings are discussed in relation to existing research and clinical implications are proposed. Finally, personal and theoretical reflections are presented in section three, in the form of a narrative of the research process. This provides a context for the work undertaken and highlights the importance of issues such as power, ethics and reflexivity in qualitative research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available