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expanding consciousness, life patterns, rheumatoid arthritis, self-transcendence, transformation, transition



  1. Neill, Jane RN, PhD, FRCNA


Considering personal life stories as the context for health transitions can enhance understanding of what is meaningful in living with chronic illness. Informed by Margaret Newman's theory of Health as Expanding Consciousness, this interpretive study described the life patterns of three women with rheumatoid arthritis as a process of expanding consciousness. The women's stories revealed transcendence of self-boundaries and personal transformation as new ways of living, including "simple pleasures" and "being positive." Through understanding life patterns within caring nursing partnerships, transitions in an entire life story can be appreciated as complex processes involving transcendence and transformation.