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Qual Health Res. 2004 Feb;14(2):226-40.

Patient power and control: a study of women with uncertain illness trajectories.

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Stockholm Center of Public Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The authors interviewed 12 women diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and 13 with fibromyalgia with the aim of determining the strategies they perceive themselves as using to gain control over their situation during the health care process. The results highlight various strategies that the women report applying to find a way of managing the illness and to influence caregivers. They describe, for example, how they try to gain control over their situation by acquiring knowledge about the illness. The women also describe various power strategies they use in their interaction with the caregivers to take command of their situation, namely exiting, noncompliance, confrontation, persuasion/insistence, making demands, and demonstrative distancing.

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