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The Significance of Everyday Life—An Ethnographic Study of Participation in Group-Based Patient Education

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DOI: 10.4236/aasoci.2015.52007    2,719 Downloads   3,153 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Drawing on a social phenomenological perspective in the sociology of everyday life, this ethno-graphic field study explores different ways in which women with rheumatoid arthritis perceive participation in a patient education programme as significant to their everyday lives. In particular, there are three ways in which this participation is perceived as significant to everyday life: as identity work, as an extension of “action space” in the practicalities of everyday life, and as a special community based on a common chronic condition. Furthermore, we uncover a difference in terms of what programme participation means to recently diagnosed participants, on one hand, and experienced participants, on the other hand, which is related to differences in their lived experiences of living with and managing chronic illness. This ethnographic study provides an important understanding of how these women create meaning inter-subjectively through social interaction but interpret this meaning individually based on their individual biographical experiences. The findings are relevant both to those who study the significance of patient education (both practitioners and researchers) and to those who are exploring how individuals make sense of living with chronic illness.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Kristiansen, T. , Antoft, R. , Primdahl, J. and Petersen, K. (2015) The Significance of Everyday Life—An Ethnographic Study of Participation in Group-Based Patient Education. Advances in Applied Sociology, 5, 81-93. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2015.52007.

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