Multiple sclerosis (MS), as a progressive and degenerative illness, has an impact on different aspects of individual lives and may lead to difficulties, concerns, and worries in patients. The aim of the present study was to investigate concerns, worries and problems in patients with MS. We used a descriptive phenomenological qualitative approach. Participants were volunteers purposively selected based on their availability. We carried out deep interviews with 15 MS patients and analyzed the detailed information obtained from these interviews by using Colaizzi’s method. We extracted six essential themes and thirty-four sub-themes associated with MS from the content of the interviews. The main themes were labelled “Confronting existential concerns,” “Crisis of facing up with the illness,” “Suffering from the illness,” “Relationship,” “Confrontation with spirituality and religion,” “Searching for tranquility.” Results of the present study also reiterated the following: Patients with MS seem to lose meaning of life and this together with problems in dealing with existential concerns, may lead to the “disintegration of self,” hence resulting in considerable psychological disturbance and distress. It is concluded that the illness evokes psychological injury such as existential anxiety, relationship disturbance and hopelessness, and these psychological injuries can lead to relapsing of MS.
Existential Concerns, Multiple Sclerosis, Phenomenology, Qualitative Approach, Self
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Recommended APA Citation
Abdekhodaie, Z., Shahidi, S., Mazaheri, M., Panaghi, L., & Nejati, V. (2020). Living with Multiple Sclerosis: A Phenomenological Study of Worries, Concern and Psychological Problems in Iranian Patients with MS. The Qualitative Report, 25(8), 3045-3064. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2020.3630