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Patient Educ Couns. 2008 Jul;72(1):163-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2008.03.005. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

Self-investigation to explore the impact of juvenile arthritis on adolescent life: a case-study.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Psychology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.



To gain insight into the personal experience and feelings of an adolescent with a chronic disease.


We report on the application of the self-confrontation method (SCM), illustrated by a case-example of an adolescent with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.


Although taken at face value she was not impeded by the arthritis, through self-assessment with the SCM this adolescent acknowledged and addressed the emotional struggle to keep the arthritis secret and to constantly test the physical limits of her body. After the process of self-reflection, the adolescent showed a better integration of her arthritis experiences into her life story.


With the SCM the adolescent could explore her own functioning and well-being on a manifest, as well as on an emotional and motivational level.


In future research, by studying the self-investigations of a group of adolescents with chronic diseases, common risk factors for the development of a stable identity during adolescence might be identified. In clinical care, the SCM promotes self-knowledge, allowing for an intrinsic motivation to deal with the emotional impact of the disease.

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