Living with recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy affected young adults’ and parents’ perspectives, studied througha salutogenic framework
Aim: The overall aim of this thesis, using a salutogenic framework, was to develop knowledge about experiences and perceptions of living with recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy and its influences on health, from the affected young adults’ and their parents’ perspectives.
Methods: A qualitative explorative and descriptive study design was used. Semi-structured interviews were held with 14 young adults diagnosed with recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, aged 20–0 years, and 19 parents. Data analyses were conducted using content analysis (I, II, III) and phenomenography (IV). In order to mirror the interview data, the participants also answered the 13-item sense of coherence questionnaire.
Findings: Recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy has a major impact on the affected young adults’ and their parents’ lives as the disease progresses. Health described in terms of well-being was thus perceived to be influenced, not only by physical, emotional and social consequences due to the disease and worry about disease progression but also by external factors, such as accessibility to support provided by society and other people’s attitudes. There was, however, a determination among the participants to try to make the best of the situation. The importance of being able to mobilize internal resources, having social support, meaningful daily activities, adapted environment, the young adult being seen as a person and having support from concerned professionals, including personal assistance when needed, was thereby described. Self-rated sense of coherence scores varied. Those who scored above or the same as median among the young adults (≥56) and the parents (≥68) expressed greater extent satisfaction regarding social relations, daily activities and external support than those who scored less than median.
Conclusion: This thesis highlights the importance of early identification of personal perceptions and needs to enable timely health-promoting interventions. Through dialogue, not only support needed for the person to comprehend, manage and find meaning in everyday life can be identified, but also internal and external resources available to enhance health and well-being, taking into account the person’s social context as well as medical aspects.
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