Narratives of Patients with Osteoarthritis from Yucatan: A Focus Group Interview Study

Damaris Estrella-Castillo, Héctor Rubio-Zapata, José Álvarez-Nemegyei, Lizzette Gómez-de-Regil


Introduction: Narrative Medicine serves to accompanying the patient through the experience of illness, listening to his/her story in a simplified therapeutic role. The aim of this interview-based study was to explore in a group of patients with OA from Yucatan the content of their narratives regarding their illness.

Methods: Eight patients with OA participated in five focus group interviews that were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. Narrative analysis considered the number of mentions and theoretical saturation with three dimensions: pain, stiffness and functional capacity.

Results: Pain was associated with quality of life, religiosity and social interactions. Regarding stiffness and functional capacity, participants expressed the appraisal of illness as an inevitable deterioration and a rather passive coping response.

Conclusions: Narrative-based evidence on how patients with OA perceive and manage their illness underscore health as a concept where the physical and psychological dimensions are in an ongoing interaction; thus, calling for more sensitivity from the medical community and for a comprehensive interdisciplinary treatment.


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