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Narcolepsy and disruption to social functioning

Culbertson, Helena and Bruck, Dorothy (2005) Narcolepsy and disruption to social functioning. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 1 (1). pp. 14-22. ISSN 1832-7931

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This study sought to create an in depth understanding of the impact of living with narcolepsy (a disorder of excessive daytime sleepiness) through qualitative research. The study used an essentially phenomenological methodology. Twenty- seven participants (18 females, 9 males, Mean age = 54.30, range = 26-90 years) were recruited from medical files in Canada and the narcolepsy support group in Australia. Data were collected via an open-ended narrative inviting the informant to focus on the impact of the disorder and analysed thematically. The issue of social context emerged as a key theme in understanding perceptions of the impact of living with narcolepsy. A secondary theme was that narcolepsy was experienced as an invisible illness. Thus the impact of living with narcolepsy is embedded in the need to maintain acceptable social functioning (within family, friendship and work relationships) and, related to this, cognitive functioning. This is complicated by the often indistinguishable nature of the symptoms from behaviors that people without narcolepsy experience. Health professionals need to understand that narcolepsy differs from other illnesses in that its key impact is a disruption to normal social functioning.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: narcolepsy, excessive daytime sleepiness, qualitative, social context, invisible illness
Subjects: RFCD Classification > 380000 Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Depositing User: Mr Angeera Sidaya
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2006
Last Modified: 23 May 2013 16:38
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