Living with ulcerative colitis

Gastroenterol Nurs. 1996 Mar-Apr;19(2):60-4. doi: 10.1097/00001610-199603000-00004.


This pilot study was undertaken to describe the experience of living with ulcerative colitis. Using a phenomenological approach, three subjects with diagnosed ulcerative colitis were interviewed and asked to describe what it was like to live with ulcerative colitis. Data from transcriptions of the audiotaped interviews were gathered and analyzed. Five major themes arose: the uncertainty surrounding exacerbations; the fear and humiliation surrounding stool incontinence; the desperate need to find successful treatment; the profound effect on family life, social life, and work; and, finally, the feeling of being controlled by the disease. Findings detail the impact of the disease on the subjects' lives and provide insight into this devastating disease. Implications for nursing practice and research are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / psychology*
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life*
  • Shame