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J Nurs Acad Soc. 1997 Mar;27(1):13-25. Korean. Original Article.
Hur HK .
Department of Nursing, College of Wonju, Yonsei University, Korea.

Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA), a chronic and systemic inflammatory disorder, is characterized by joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Patients with RA suffer from joint pain and overall pain. The painful and disabling consequences of RA are accompanied by a variety of affective, cognitive, and behavioral changes. The purpose of this paper was to explore and describe the life experiences of RA patients by eliciting verbal description of their experiences. Participants were nine persons who were diagnosed with RA, and had if for more than six months. They were asked open ended and descriptive questions in order for them to talk about their experiences in their own terms. Interviews were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were analyzed by Colaizzi method. From the protocols, 213 significant statements about life experience were organized into 83 formulating meanings which were then grouped into five theme clusters. The major themes that emerged from the analysis were 'Emotional Disturbances', 'Trying to Adapt to the Progress of Treatment', ' Change of Role Performances', 'Experiences related to Family'. The result of this study showed that RA patients and families need nursing care based on a deep understanding of their lived experiences in everyday life. Nurses and other health workers must develop rehabilitation programs that focus on the pain control, functional independence and psychosocial factors.

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