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Casual attributions and the search for a sense of purpose in women with inflammatory arthritis

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Title: Casual attributions and the search for a sense of purpose in women with inflammatory arthritis
Author: Miller, Vaughan
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Counselling Psychology
Copyright Date: 1995
Abstract: This study sought to understand the ways in which women with inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), and psoriatic arthritis(PA), developed their own causal models over the course of their illness, and the ways in which the elements of these causal models influenced the way they live their lives. By asking patients "why do you think you got arthritis ? " and by tracing the route these patients took in arriving at their causal conclusions, the world views of the coinvestigators were revealed, to some extent, as were the ways in which these world views had been modified in order to make sense of chronic illness. This study included 12 co-investigators, and took a qualitative approach. Repeated in-depth, open-ended interviews were conducted with each co-investigator, and data is presented here in the form of life schemes. Data analysis involved an examination of similarities and differences across stories, and a determination of the kinds of events that influence the formation of causal conclusions. This study found that the causal models of the coinvestigators developed in a fairly typical manner, starting first with physical causes, then expanding to incorporate psychological causes, then expanding further to a consideration of existential explanations. A general story was written to synthesize the information, and to show the overall pattern of development of the causal models. Within the general story differences across causal models are highlighted, as are the different meanings assigned to the same causal attribution by different co-investigators.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/4324
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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