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comfort, illness theory, qualitative meta-analysis, response to injury, self



  1. Morse, Janice M. PhD (Nurs), PhD (Anthro)


Current theories of illness focus either on the illness experience or on the response to recovery from particular diseases.When the focus is on the individual, rather than the cause, it is evident that these experiences may be combined to develop a comprehensive theory that incorporates the individual's responses to acute or chronic illness or to injury. Extending primarily from the Illness Constellation Model and Preserving Self, a five-stage model, Responding to Threats to Integrity of the Self, was developed. The theory focuses on the individual (and to a lesser degree on the individual's family) and how the individual seeks self-comforting strategies to mediate the experience. The theory is one of recovery and rehabilitation, is comprehensive, and may be used for understanding and supporting patient responses.