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Sundgren, Elisabet
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Sundgren, E., Hallqvist, J. & Fredriksson, L. (2016). Health for smokers with schizophrenia: a struggle to maintain a dignified life. Disability and Rehabilitation, 38(5), 416-422
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Health for smokers with schizophrenia: a struggle to maintain a dignified life
2016 (English)In: Disability and Rehabilitation, ISSN 0963-8288, E-ISSN 1464-5165, Vol. 38, no 5, p. 416-422Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: To investigate the health and lifestyle habits of smokers with schizophrenia and describe their experience of smoking in relation to health.

METHODS: Semi-structured interviews with 10 smokers with schizophrenia were conducted in Sweden from May to October 2013. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to describe and interpret respondents' experiences.

FINDINGS: Good health for a person with schizophrenia was defined as accepting their mental illness, having strategies to gain control over psychotic symptoms, and engaging in activities and good relationships. Lifestyle habits were described as structures in the respondents' daily life: arising in the morning, taking a cigarette, reading the newspaper, eating breakfast and doing the things planned for the day.

CONCLUSION: The meaning of health for smokers with schizophrenia is not the same as being well or ill. Rather, health is an experience of a struggle to maintain a dignified life, including self-acceptance of the mental illness and control over the psychotic symptoms. People with schizophrenia have high willingness but low motivation to stop smoking because they fear that cigarette withdrawal will increase their psychotic symptoms. Therefore, they find it difficult to stop smoking. To succeed with health care intervention, health care providers must understand the life style habits and experiences specific to smokers with schizophrenia and the unique experience of health and life style habits that people with schizophrenia experience.

National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267015 (URN)10.3109/09638288.2015.1044033 (DOI)000367834600002 ()25958996 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-11-16 Created: 2015-11-16 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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