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Article
Dual, Yet Dueling Illnesses: Multiple Chronic Illness Experience at Midlife
Faculty Publications
  • Gail L. Markle, Kennesaw State University
  • Brandon K. Attell, Georgia State University
  • Linda A. Treiber, Kennesaw State University
Department
Sociology & Criminal Justice
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
11-24-2014
Disciplines
Abstract
The prevalence of multiple chronic illnesses is increasing dramatically, especially among those in middle adulthood, yet much prior research has focused on the experience of multiple morbidity among older adults. We examined the online illness narratives (blogs) of 10 men and women aged 36 to 59 to better understand the experience of living with multiple chronic illnesses at midlife. Multiple morbidity presents distinct challenges to those at midlife: (a) diagnosis and management of multiple illnesses, (b) need for information, (c) identity dilemmas and threats to self-image, and (d) stigma and social rejection. Relinquishing the work identity was especially difficult for participants because it threatened to foreshorten middle adulthood and push them prematurely into late adulthood. Participants used their blogs to revise their identities, alleviate isolation, and inform and guide others.
Citation Information
Markle, G. L., Attell, B. K., & Treiber, L. A. (2014). Dual, Yet Dueling Illnesses Multiple Chronic Illness Experience at Midlife. Qualitative health research, 1049732314559948.