Patients' experiences with changes in perceived control in chronic illness: A pilot study of the outcomes of a new health promotion program in community health care
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEngevold, M. H., & Heggdal, K. (2016). Patients’ experiences with changes in perceived control in chronic illness: A pilot study of the outcomes of a new health promotion program in community health care. Scandinavian Psychologist, 3. http://dx.doi.org/10.15714/scandpsychol.3.e5 http://dx.doi.org/10.15714/scandpsychol.3.e5
Among the main challenges accompanying chronic illness are uncertainty and lack of perceived control, both of which put the patient at risk of developing psychological comorbidities. This qualitative study explored patients’ experiences with changes in perceived control while engaging in a new health promotion program in their community. Participants’ bodily knowledge of chronic illness was utilized systematically in the promotion of their health during seven group sessions. Eleven men and women from the eastern part of Norway participated in the pilot implementation. Qualitative interviews were used for data collection and were analyzed according to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The findings were identified as: changes in self-awareness; accepting the limits of one’s capacity; and regaining control. This resulted in patients’ development of a strengthened capacity to handle illness-related strain and individual strategies to prevent psychological deterioration. Keywords: chronic illness, coping, health intervention, perceived control, self-awareness, self-efficacy.