Qual Health Res. 2003 Nov;13(9):1225-51
Reynolds F, Prior S.
Brunel University, Isleworth, Middlesex, United Kingdom.
The authors explored women's strategies for achieving quality of life with multiple sclerosis (MS) through interviews with 27 women, most of whom had lived with MS for more than 5 years.
Analysis of the semistructured interviews followed the interpretative phenomenological approach.
The women portrayed living with MS as an ongoing process of negotiation and described gaining quality of life through looking after health; maintaining meaningful occupations and roles; establishing mutual relationships; clarifying beliefs, aspirations, and philosophy of life; activism on disability issues; consciously valuing positive life experiences; and finding benefits in adversity.
Despite recounting resourceful strategies, many acknowledged ongoing difficulties.
Some narratives suggested a mesh or tapestry of coexisting positive and negative experiences.
Others portrayed an adversarial relationship, with the positive and negative forces in their lives constantly battling for supremacy.
A wide array of flexible, evolving strategies was required to achieve an acceptable quality of life with MS.