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TitleSuffering dimensions in adults with chronic diseases or life-threatening illness
Author(s)Encarnação, Paula
Oliveira, Clara Costa
Martins, Teresa
KeywordsSuffering dimensions
Chronic Diseases
Issue date2017
Abstract(s)Chronic diseases are an obstacle or constraint to the fulfilment of the patient’s expectations and needs, which compromise the health transition process, often cause suffering and adaptation problems. Suffering is personal and affects both younger and older people in different suffering experiences. The question “Why me?”, “For what?” is intimately related to the individual’s suffering experience. Literature also consistently associates the concept of suffering with sadness, fear, anguish, distress, pain, loss of control, self-identity or even meaning of life and is perceived as a threat to the person’s integrity, according to peoples’ accounts of their suffering. Health professionals play an important role as they are able to establish a close relationship with patients and their family and often become the sole witnesses to the patients’ suffering. Suffering involves the person as a whole, thus be able to understand it means that all patient’s dimensions must be addressed to relieve the suffering. The study aimed to assess the suffering in adults with chronic diseases or life-threatening illness. A methodological, cross-sectional correlational study was developed. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of Porto, Portugal (decision 060/2014). The sample included 100 participants which were diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS); 51 participants with Fibromyalgia; 50 participants with Invalidating Arthritis and 50 participants on Palliative are (PC). The final sample consisted of 251 people. From this study, we deduced that as the coherence sense gets stronger, the greatest is the person ability to understand, manage and give a significance to suffering (on its four dimensions: intrapersonal suffering; interpersonal suffering; awareness of suffering and spiritual suffering), meaning that, throughout a strong sense of coherence, the empowerment process aims the promotion of the person’s health and has as its goal their development, the increase of its protective factors (the general resistance resources), which allows him to read the reality more easily, find resources and get involved in the resolution of its problems, which leads to the accountability of his health, of its family’s health and all the community which he is part of.
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:ESE-CIE - Comunicações / Communications

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