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The presence and meaning of chronic sorrow in patients with multiple sclerosis
Jönköping University, School of Health Science, HHJ, Dep. of Nursing Science. Jönköping University, School of Health Science, HHJ. Quality improvements, innovations and leadership in health care and social work.
2007 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 16, no 11C, p. 315-324Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim and objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the presence and meaning of chronic sorrow and the presence of depression in a fairly large group of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Background: MS is a chronic and progressive neurological disease with a variety of symptoms. The patients have to live with losses of different kinds. A few earlier studies have used the concept of chronic sorrow to illustrate the emotional situation of such patients. Method: Sixty-one patients were interviewed about the occurrence of chronic sorrow and, thereafter, screened for depression. Thirty-eight (62%) of them fulfilled the criteria for chronic sorrow. The interviews were analysed with latent content analysis. Results: Seven themes describe the losses that caused sorrow: loss of hope, loss of control over the body, loss of integrity and dignity, loss of a healthy identity, loss of faith that life is just, loss of social relations and loss of freedom. The sorrow was constantly present or periodically overwhelming. Only four of the 38 patients with chronic sorrow had symptoms of being mildly depressed. Conclusion: Chronic sorrow meant loss of hope, of control over the body, of integrity and of identity. The concept of chronic sorrow complements that of depression in providing important new knowledge relevant to understanding the consequences MS can have for the individual. Relevance to clinical practice: Knowledge of the meaning of chronic sorrow can contribute to the nurse's ability to give psychological support and promote a sense of hope and control in the MS patient.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 16, no 11C, p. 315-324
Keywords [en]
multiple sclerosis, chronic sorrow
National Category
Nursing Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-3788PubMedID: 17608632OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-3788DiVA, id: diva2:34608
Available from: 2008-06-10 Created: 2008-06-10 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Ahlström, Gerd

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