The experience of living with chronic illness: A heuristic study




Pogge, Sheila Marie

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This investigation explored the phenomenological experience of living with chronic illness. A qualitative method involving a heuristic approach was employed, including analyst triangulation. The investigation utilized a mixed method, combining archival data analysis as well as new data collection. In addition to eight archival interviews used from a former study (Pogge, 2011), three more new interviews were conducted to expand the scope of the study. The previous investigation (Pogge, 2011) was limited to an initial, broad level content analysis calling for a more in-depth analysis for the present investigation. Therefore, a heuristic approach, which was substantially more demanding in terms of depth analysis, was employed to develop a more complex portrayal of the phenomenon of living with chronic illness. As required in heuristic inquiry, the present investigation benefited from the critical additional element of the author's own explicated personal experience and perspective of living with chronic illness. Ten composite themes were found across all 11 data sets which included: isolation versus being alone, resignation versus acceptance, external-denial versus internal coping, distancing from symptoms versus symptom management, coping, identity, trauma, power and control, uncertainty versus trust, and invisibility versus visibility of chronic illness and disability. Implications for theory, practice, research and policy/advocacy are presented.



Counseling psychology, Living with illness, Health sciences, Chronic illness, Health care management