Experiencing health in the context of rheumatoid arthritis

Betty J. Schmidt, Donna J. Brauer, Cynthia Peden-McAlpine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to explicate the health experience of persons with rheumatoid arthritis who manifest a strong sense of well-being. Five women and three men participated in unstructured interviews in order to answer the research question, What are the subplots that emerge in the descriptions of health given by persons with rheumatoid arthritis? A hermeneutic method was used to analyze the transcripts. Three subplots emerged: (a) The evolving-not knowing and then knowing something, but never really knowing, (b) the reframing, and (c) the relational fugue. The findings, including creation of healing spaces and an evolving relationship with assistive devices, provide evidence of turning points in the health process and are suggestive of a strong sense of well-being as a manifestation of a reorganized pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalNursing Science Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Health
  • Health as expanding consciousness
  • Newman
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Self-care
  • Well-being


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