Striving for control and acceptance to feel well experiences of living with migraine and attending physical therapy

Detta är en avhandling från Luleå tekniska universitet

Sammanfattning: The overall aim of this doctoral thesis was to describe and develop an understanding of persons’ experiences of living with migraine and managing their lives to feel well, and to elucidate their experiences of physical therapy. Qualitative, narrative interviews (IIV) were conducted with individuals to explore and describe their experiences of living with migraine. The persons with migraine were asked to draw a picture of their experiences to support their narration and the interview continued after the drawing was complete (II, III). To interpret the meaning of living with migraine, the transcribed text was analyzed using a hermeneutical-phenomenological approach (I, II, IV), and the interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis (IV) to describe the experiences of acupuncture. The findings show that living with migraine meant living with the uncertainty about having an attack and striving to control the migraines (I, II, IV). To increase their sense of control, the persons with migraine tried to identify and manage their migraine triggers and they tried to find effective ways of alleviating the attacks (I, II). They also attempted to amplify the good things in life, which increased both their sense of control and their well-being (II). Living with migraine meant living with the fear of being misunderstood and doubted. When persons with migraine made peace with being afflicted, they received an inner sense of security from which they could view more possibilities than limitations in life (I, II). When the person with migraine attended physical therapy, they invested their time and energy towards feeling well, and it was important that the intervention rewarded their effort with increased health. The interaction with the physical therapist was an important aspect of physical therapy. The persons with migraine emphasized the need to be trusted and to receive individual attention, and they also wanted to feel confident in their physical therapist (III, IV). In conclusion, knowledge about the meaning of living with migraine is important for physical therapists and other healthcare professionals who encounter persons with migraine. By listening to persons’ experiences of migraine, their ability to control their migraine, their acceptance of their migraine and their general sense of well-being, new possibilities for individually adapted interventions and empowering actions can be revealed. In addition, physical therapists should consider the need for trust and confidence as important aspects of treating persons with migraine to improve their practice.

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