27170037 - Research Impact of Cutaneous Disease on the...

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DERMATOLOGY NURSING/August 2007/Vol. 19/No. 4 351 Research Impact of Cutaneous Disease on the Self- Concept: An Existential-Phenomenological Study of Men and Women with Psoriasis Tracy Watson Gideon P. de Bruin The aim of this article is to focus on the meaning-making experience of men and women who suffer from psoriasis and the impact on the various dimensions of the self-concept. The methodology employed relied on existential phenomenology so as to create the rich descriptions of the lived experiences of this group. Descriptions were elicited from the formulation of an open-ended question. It was discovered that (a) the self-concept is pivotal in the experience of what it means to live with psoriasis, (b) the attitude of doctors towards their patients impacts the sufferer’s emotional well-being, and (c) trait self-esteem appears to be related to psychological recovery. The results of this study revealed many important areas for future research and suggest that having a healthy self-concept prior to developing psoriasis is pivotal in accounting for why some people recover remarkably well psychologically and others do not. The findings have important implications for all within the health care profession in helping to effect positive change in their future endeavors with persons suffering from cutaneous disease. Tracy Watson, D. Litt et Phil (Psychology), is a Clinical Psychologist in Community Service, Helen Joseph Hospital, Psychology Department, Puril, South Africa. Gideon P. de Bruin, D. Litt et Phil (Psychology), is Professor of Industrial Psychology, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, South Africa, and is also a Counseling Psychologist. Q ualitative dermatology and self-concept studies appear to be lacking in medical and psychological literature. In 2004, at an editorial board meeting for the Dermatology Nursing journal, the need for studies presenting the patient’s experience of cutaneous disease was discussed. Studies of this kind were thought important in pro- viding medical and mental health care professionals with valuable insights and important information to help improve dermatology patient care (Hill, 2004). In this article qual- itative phenomenologic exploration of the experiential dimensions of cutaneous disease is emphasized in the hope that it will enable medical and mental health care professionals to gain deeper insight into the human experience of those afflicted. Self-concept is a multidimen- sional construct (Hattie & Marsh, 1996) and is defined in accordance with Van Deurzen-Smith’s (1997) dimensions of self. Recognizing that human experience is multiple and complex, the self-dimensions refer- ence an individual’s worldview which is seen as consisting of four basic levels: (a) the physical, natural, and material dimensions (the physi- cal aspects of our embodied exis- tence and our involvement with the physical world of objects and how we perceive and interpret this involvement); (b) the social, cultural, and public dimensions (our activity in the social world of other people
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27170037 - Research Impact of Cutaneous Disease on the...

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