Lived experiences of fibromyalgia
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Lived experiences of fibromyalgia

Martina Diviney Staff nurse, Galway Hospice Foundation/Bons Secours Hospital, Renmore, Galway, Ireland
Maura Dowling Lecturer, National University of Ireland, Galway School of Nursing & Midwifery, Arás Moyola, Galway, Ireland

Martina Diviney and Maura Dowling explain why this chronic illness can take a long time to diagnose and how assessment tools can be used to speed up the process

This phenomenological study explored the lived experience of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Open interviews were conducted with nine people diagnosed with fibromyalgia. All participants outlined long and complex journeys involving ‘a diagnosis of elimination’ and the difficulties of living with an ‘invisible’ illness, which results in loss of friendships and family roles, and places restrictions on daily life. Most participants experienced a general lack of understanding of the condition, such as being told ‘it is in your head’ by healthcare professionals.

Findings reveal the impact of fibromyalgia on people’s lives and the need for responsive, person-centred, supportive services, which primary care nurses are ideally placed to provide.

Primary Health Care. 25, 9,18-23. doi: 10.7748/phc.25.9.18.s27


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind peer review and checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 16 January 2015

Accepted: 10 February 2015