Using Communities of Practice Theory to Understand the Crisis of Identity in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME)

Rebecca Murray, Lynda Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To explore the crisis of identity in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) through the lens of Communities of Practice. Methods: A closed Facebook group was created to gather qualitative data from participants diagnosed with CFS/ME (n = 22). Data were analysed using a theoretical thematic analysis. Results: The current research revealed the reality of enabling and disabling communities in the lived experience of CFS/ME and the role of participation in developing empowered identities. Learning how to be alongside CFS/ME aligned with participants’ experiences of purpose and meaning. New identities may be developed which are not centrally defined by loss or stigma. Discussion: Participation in supportive communities enables CFS/ME identities to emerge as a platform for positive change. Engaging with the CFS/ME virtual community may be a way for both families and health professionals to reflect on current practice.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalChronic Illness
Early online date6 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Dec 2021

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