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2020 Sep 03

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Psychosocial Influence of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in Daily Life of Patients: A Qualitative Study.


Palomo-Toucedo IC, Leon-Larios F, Reina-Bueno M, Vázquez-Bautista M D C, Munuera-Martínez PV, Domínguez-Maldonado G
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Sep 03; 17(17).
PMID: 32899328.


(1) Background: Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a heterogeneous group of connective tissue disorders causing pain, fatigue, and disabilities; it has several implications for patients who suffer from this disease. The major clinical manifestations of EDS include joint hypermobility, skin hyperextensibility, and generalized conjunctive tissue fragility. This research aims to explore their perceptions and experiences about the phycological and social spheres. (2) Methods: Semistructured interviews were carried out. Participants were encouraged to talk about issues related to their disease by asking open-ended questions in one to one interview. The interview guide included questions to identify the syndrome's influence on the social and psychological life of patients All interviews were audio recorded, fully transcribed, and analyzed using the phenomenological theoretical framework. The method of analysis was the thematic interpreting of perspectives and approaches. (3) Results: 31 individuals were proposed to participate in this study. Five patients refused to participate, so a total of 26 interviews were performed. Six themes ((1) Pain and its consequences on a daily basis; (2) The need to name the problem: the diagnosis; (3) Restructuring leisure and social relationships; (4) Limitations due to economic conditions; (5) Psychological impact of the disease situation; (6) Professional limitations) and four subthemes ((1) The value of partner support; (2) The weather influence on social plans; (3) Physical exercise and illness; (4) Support groups) emerged from the data. (4) Conclusions: This study revealed the impact of the syndrome on the social and daily life of patients, and not only in a physical level, but also in a psychological and social approach. These findings allow healthcare providers to know more about this disease in order to support and give advice to patients about the changes they will have to make.