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Exploring the transitional process from receiving a diagnosis to living with motor neurone disease

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychology and Health
Issue number8
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)939-953
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Motor neurone disease (MND) is a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative condition that results in a marked reduction in life expectancy. Currently, little is known about the experiences of people after they have received this diagnosis and the effect of this on their sense of self and identity. In this study, interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to explore both the personal and lived experiences of people with MND. Seven people diagnosed with MND within the previous six months were recruited. The three themes constructed from the participants’ accounts were ‘Then they dropped the bomb shell’; Receiving a diagnosis of MND; ‘Getting on with it’; Learning to live with MND; and ‘A lot of normal life is lost’; Experiencing progressive loss. Participants described receiving a diagnosis as a devastating experience but most participants were able to accept their diagnosis and employ adaptive strategies to cope with increasing levels of functional decline. However, in spite of this, the participants experienced functional changes that affected their identity, social status and social relationships.