The fight for 'health-related normality': a qualitative study of the experiences of individuals living with established inflammatory bowel disease (ibd)

J Health Psychol. 2005 May;10(3):443-55. doi: 10.1177/1359105305051433.


This article reports on the experiences of individuals living with IBD and identifies a range of coping strategies used by them. Qualitative data from 15 individual interviews and three focus groups were analysed using a grounded theory approach. The main focus is on the emergent core concept of 'health-related normality'. A theoretical framework is proposed to explain how individuals with IBD assess their health-related normality, their fight to maintain it and their need to retain the appearance of normality to others. It is concluded that individuals maintain their health-related normality along certain time and context sensitive continuums rather than fitting into a distinct typology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / psychology
  • Crohn Disease / psychology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Theory
  • Quality of Life / psychology*