An exploratory case study of Australian adults with inflammatory bowel disease and their perception and experience of well-being
A transpersonal lens
Keywords:IBD, inflammatory bowel disease, holistic, wellbeing, transpersonal, auto-immune disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic and recurrent inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. While extensive research has focused on the physical symptoms and treatments of IBD, there is a significant gap in understanding the overall well-being experience of individuals living with this currently incurable condition. This study aimed to address this gap by using a transpersonal lens to explore the perception and experience of well-being among six adult Australians with IBD. Here, well-being was viewed as the balance of resources and challenges in the physical, psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of the unique human experience. Through pre-interview meditation, whole-person focused interviews, thematic analysis, and reflection, seven key themes emerged: connection with others, growth and development, limitations, self, shame and guilt, treatment and action, and uncertainty. The findings acknowledge the multifaceted nature of well-being for individuals with the condition and emphasise the value and importance of considering the whole person in future studies and treatments of IBD. The integration of transpersonal therapy, alongside medical approaches, is proposed as a promising step forward.
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