Background Health care providers are well grounded on main aim of their activity. To treat a disease is the goal for specialists and medical institutions. A meaning of a chronic disease in lay – persons perspective ( a human, cultural approach) was not scientifically explored. Essays submitted for Edgar Stene Award brings an unique material on individuals’ values and assessment of rheumatic disease presence in everyday life. Edgar Stene essays were prepared spontaneously. An expression of authors were not limited by research interest. A hierarchy of significant processes in authors’ life should to be uncover as well as a role of chronic disease
Objectives How authors answer the question of the sense and value of life with chronic disease in their essays. What is a meaning of disease given by writer experienced by arthritis? What is cultural/social influence on a process of giving this meaning?
Methods A process of qualitative data analysis of 40 essays from Poland as primary documents, was supported by program ATLAS.ti. A program made easier data integration, organization and constant documentation of the process.
Results Analyzed essays describe life challenges and experience of “crisis” in process of a disease. A model of meaning objects depends on a period of symptoms, an age of onset, gender, age and health status. The most important things for authors are: understanding and interpreting the disease and also incorporating chronic disease into mainstream of life.
Conclusions Nonprofessional life writing is invaluable source of knowledge of individuals’ sense of the worth of their existence with rheumatic disease.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared