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Establishing the (extra)ordinary in chronic widespread pain

[journal article]

Richardson, Jane C.

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Abstract Sufferers of chronic illness face delegitimation of their condition and threats to their identities. One way of establishing the legitimacy of their position is for sufferers of chronic illness to emphasize the ‘ordinary’ in their accounts. Sufferers of conditions which are chronic, invisible and contested, such as chronic widespread pain, have the same, and possibly greater, need to legitimize their condition and refute allegations of ‘malingering’ or psychological instability. The article uses interviews with women with chronic widespread pain to illustrate the ways in which the invisible, subjective and everyday nature of chronic pain leads to sufferers experiencing delegitimation of their condition. It suggests that the accounts of women suffering from chronic widespread pain are constructed to portray a positive identity in the face of this experience, particularly through the emphasis on the ‘extraordinary’.
Free Keywords chronic illness; chronic pain; in-depth interviews; legitimacy;
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 31-48
Journal Health, 9 (2005) 1
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)