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Psychol Health. 2014;29(2):162-76. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2013.840784. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

Living with a pituitary tumour: a narrative analysis.

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a Clinical Psychology , School of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University , Lancaster , UK.


This study aimed to synthesise the illness narratives of individuals living with a pituitary tumour. Eight adults with a pituitary tumour were recruited from an endocrinology service in the north-west of England. A narrative methodology was adopted which investigated elements of the individual narratives such as metaphor and structure but which also aimed to produce a joint account of experience in this particular illness context by extracting themes across the stories; these are presented as part of a chronological narrative. However, the resulting group story was also analysed in terms of different types of narrative plots. The group narrative started from the recognition of symptoms and then diagnosis though treatment to post-treatment and future plans. In terms of narrative plots, one notable element of the joint narrative was the flow between the culturally dominant restitution narrative, where participants focused on treatment and recovery and the chaos narrative when recovery did not seem possible. The findings contain many elements consistent with previous research; however, the use of a celebrity figure to communicate about the illness experience and a perception that objects or individuals should not be taken at face value emerged as more novel findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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