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Document Type


Publication Date



Physical Therapy

Faculty Advisor

Theresa Kolodziej, PhD, PT, DPT


The intended outcome of this research is to educate the general public about the value of illness narratives. Specifically, the focus will rely on how illness narratives can be used to explore the ways in which individuals maintain relationships and identities after a diagnosis of illness or disability. Chronic illnesses and disabilities are prevalent amongst individuals of all ages, ethnicities, and race. Individuals diagnosed with illnesses or disabilities can express their emotions, social challenges, and relationships influenced by the diagnoses through the use of illness narratives. These individuals display common themes, which guide clinicians and family members to better understand how the individuals perceive their diagnoses and how it may impact their lives. Providing a platform for individuals with chronic illnesses to express their stories can encourage individuals to re-define their identities and relationships. The research conducted is unique per it's qualitative nature, as opposed to quantitative studies.