Mengshoel, AM, Sim, J, Ahlsen, B and Madden, S (2018) Diagnostic experience of patients with fibromyalgia - A meta-ethnography. Chronic Illness, 14 (3). pp. 194-211. ISSN 1745-9206

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Objective To examine how individuals experience the process and consequences of receiving a diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome. Methods A systematic literature search of qualitative studies up to May 2016 was performed. Twenty-eight reports including information on patients' diagnostic experiences were subjected to an interpretive analysis in accordance with the principles of meta-ethnography. Results Years were normally spent consulting specialists in an attempt to confirm the reality of symptoms and make sense of the illness. Great relief was felt at finally achieving the fibromyalgia syndrome diagnosis. However, relief waned when therapies proved ineffective. Health professionals and others questioned whether individuals were genuinely ill, that the illness had a psychological nature, and whether they were doing their best to recover. The diagnosis did not provide a meaningful explanation of individuals' suffering and had limited power to legitimate illness. Patients felt blamed for their failure to recover, threatening their personal credibility and moral identity. Conclusion The fibromyalgia syndrome diagnosis has limitations in validating and making sense of patients' illness experiences and in providing social legitimation of their illness. Social relationships are strained during the diagnostic process and in the course of ineffective therapies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Sage Publications at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fibromyalgia, contested illness, diagnostic experience, legitimacy, meta-ethnography, metasynthesis
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Primary Care Health Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2017 13:57
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2018 11:19

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