Shifting normalities: Interactions of changing conceptions of a normal life and the normalisation of symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis

Sanderson, Tessa and Calnan, Michael .W. and Morris, Marianne and Richards, Pam and Hewlett, Sarah (2011) Shifting normalities: Interactions of changing conceptions of a normal life and the normalisation of symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis. Sociology of Health & Illness, 33 (4). pp. 618-633. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01305.x) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01305.x

Abstract

Biographical disruption and related concepts have been widely applied in chronic illness. Different conceptualisations of normalisation have also been proposed in order to explain individuals’ diverse responses to illness on their biography, but as yet, not clearly related to changing bodily experience or normalisation of symptoms. This article aims to examine the relevance of these concepts in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an unpredictable autoinflammatory disease characterised by painful and swollen joints, disability, fatigue and joint damage. Interviews were conducted with 23 people living with RA, and analysed using Framework, to enable people’s whole narratives and context to be considered. Six typologies of normality emerged from the data: disrupted; struggling to maintain; fluctuating; resetting; returning; and continuing normality. Multiple normalities were often present in individuals’ narratives, with one normality typology usually dominating at the time of the interview. The typologies connect to several biographical concepts, and instances of ‘biographical reinstatement’ were also found, where participants described returning to normal life, through perceived effective medication rather than reconceptualisation of health. The concept of ‘shifting normalities’ is proposed, providing a dynamic explanatory model of chronic illness that captures the interaction of changing conceptions of a normal life and the normalisation of symptoms.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: rheumatoid arthritis; biographical disruption; normalisation; interviews; typologies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2013 15:01 UTC
Last Modified: 13 May 2014 15:48 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/34396 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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