Title

The medical, personal, and social causes of uncertainty in HIV illness

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2003

Abstract

Uncertainty is an important part of the illness experience. Mishel elaborated a theory of uncertainty in acute illness and later expanded the framework to account for uncertainty in chronic illness. Researchers subsequently have investigated the causes and outcomes associated with the uncertainty in illness experience across a variety of medical conditions. The current study applies and extends Mishel's model within the context of HIV illness-related uncertainty. In this qualitative study, focus group methods were used to examine the nature of illness uncertainty experienced by persons living with HIV or AIDS. Findings confirm Mishel's contention that the causes of uncertainty extend beyond those of medical diagnosis, treatment, and recovery to personal and social aspects of daily life. Identified sources of uncertainty may have important mental health and quality of life implications.

Publication Name

Issues in Mental Health Nursing

Volume Number

24

First Page

497

Last Page

522

Issue Number

5

DOI

10.1080/01612840305292

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