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Title: The young adult and chronic illness : implications for the counselling profession
Authors: Coleiro, Dorianne
Keywords: Hermeneutics
Chronically ill -- Counseling of -- Malta
Adolescent psychology
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: With the advancement in medicine and technology, more people are living with chronic health conditions. The aim of this study was to explore the lived experiences of young adults living with chronic illness and any implications it might have on the counselling profession. The qualitative paradigm using Gadamer’s philosophical approach to hermeneutic phenomenology was the framework that guided this study. Twelve semi-structured, in-depth interviews were used to collect the data. Purposive sampling was used to recruitment twelve participants. An interview guide was specifically designed for the aim of this study. Van Manen’s six activities to phenomenological research were used to guide the analysis. Ethical considerations were taken into account and ways of ensuring rigour were considered throughout the research process. The resulting five super-ordinate themes were described as ‘a journey with chronic illness’, ‘life on a roller coaster’, ‘shedding the cocoon’, ‘the right for a family’, and ‘walking in the shade of help’. The meaning that one gives to the experience of chronic illness is pivotal in the way one adjusts to this experience, and which influences the meaning of identity as the person grows through young adulthood. This study highlights the need for respect for autonomy for the young person with chronic illness and emphasis the need for unconditional support from family, friends and health care professionals. The influence of chronic illness on one’s employability and the need to develop intimate relationships had a significant standing in this study. This study identified the implications of chronic illness on the role of the counsellor and recognized the dire need for the provision of counsellors by the state. Counselling aims at the enhancement of personal development and thus can support the chronically-ill person to integrate the illness into one’s identity and maintain a social status that is respectful for one’s development. This study calls for training professionals about the biopsychosocial effects of chronic illness on the young adult and on the developmental tasks of the individual across the life-span. It identifies the need for a policy that recognizes the ‘expert patient’ and develops strategies that enables closer relationships between patients and health care providers. further research about chronic illness during adulthood, particularly how this impacts on the family caring for a young adult with chronic illness is another salient recommendation from this study.
Description: M.COUNSELLING
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2012
Dissertations - FacSoWCou - 2012

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