The Everyday Lived Experiences of People with Cervical Dystonia: A Qualitative Approach

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Williams, Joanne Nathanson
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Cervical dystonia (CD) is a chronic neurologic disease which has been extensively studied in terms of diagnosis and treatment and treatment outcomes. The resulting psychological manifestations of chronic diseases is well- documented. The majority of the studies on CD take a post-positivist quantitative approach therefore there is a lack of rich descriptive research done in this area from the perspective of the person living with this disorder. The aim of this study is to add to the body of literature on CD by providing a description of the impact that CD has had on the lived experience of people with CD. This was accomplished by performing two open-ended long interviews with people with CD. The data was transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis looking for key themes relating to the impact of CD on lived experience in their daily lives. It was found that CD greatly impacted the participants’ daily lives in terms of limitation of activities because of social embarrassment, pain and physical limitations. Those with more severe CD were most impeded in their activities of daily living but over time were able to make adjustments in their lifestyle to accommodate their disease and find deeper meaning in everyday experiences.
Lived Experience , Cervical dystonia (CD) , Chronic Neurologic Disease