Adolescent Perceptions Of Living With Crohn's Disease
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In Canada, 3,300 children under the age of 20 are living with Crohn’s Disease (CD) (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, 2008). When an illness such as CD occurs in adolescence, the challenges associated with it are further compounded by the developmental tasks associated with this life stage. The purpose of this study was to understand how adolescents experience living with CD; to explore the impact of disease activity on their quality of life (QOL) and the strategies utilized to maintain and improve their QOL. Using a resiliency framework and narrative inquiry as a research methodology, seven adolescents were interviewed. The results include seven individual stories exemplifying their experiences, and from the stories shared, four patterns emerged: (1) Unconditional Support, (2) Embracing and Accepting Differences, (3) Attitudes and Personal Beliefs and (4) Daily Coping Strategies. These findings may have relevance for health professionals and families and adolescents with CD.