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Qual Health Res. 2015 May;25(5):679-88. doi: 10.1177/1049732314557333. Epub 2014 Nov 11.

Staying healthy from fibromyalgia is ongoing hard work.

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University of Oslo, Institute of Health and Society, Oslo, Norway
University of Oslo, Institute of Health and Society, Oslo, Norway.


Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic musculoskeletal pain condition. Although studies have reported that some patients can become healthy again, little is known about what they tell about their lives after having FMS. In this study, we interviewed eight Norwegian women who had all recovered from FMS about their experiences when ill and subsequently being healthy. Inspired by narrative methods, we then conducted a thematic narrative analysis. The findings indicate that although women reported that life was better than before, they also reported investing considerable effort in remaining healthy. When ill, they struggled to maintain the routines of everyday life. Being healthy again, they put great effort into avoiding illness through diet, exercise, and relaxation. In conclusion, remaining healthy requires ongoing hard work to maintain the body, as well as profound changes in everyday life. At the same time, the narratives show continuity in the informants' self-presentation as hard-working women.


fibromyalgia; health and well-being; illness and disease, health care; interviews; narrative inquiry; pain, chronic

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