Background: A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) can lead to changes to a person’s sense of self. The aim of this study was to investigate the subjective experience of identity change and subsequent adjustment to MS.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 people who reported having MS. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.
Results: In the early stages of the disease progression, participants wished to compartmentalise the disease. Over time, through reflected self-appraisals, brought about by increasing symptoms and changed relationships with others, the disease became a part of participants’ self-identity.
Conclusions: For people with MS, incorporating and accepting the disease as part of their self-identity can have positive implications for seeking and receiving support.
Barker, A. B., Smale, K., Hunt, N., Lincoln, N. B., & das Nair, R. (2019). Experience of Identity Change in People Who Reported a Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis : A Qualitative Inquiry. International Journal of Ms Care, 21(5), 235-242. https://doi.org/10.7224/1537-2073.2018-069