Changing perceptions of womanhood: living with Parkinson’s disease

Valerie Flemming, Debbie Tolson, Elgin Schartau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This study adopted a multiple case study design to develop our understanding of the experiences and adjustments made by women with Parkinson Disease in relation to womanhood. Nineteen women participated in this investigation telling their stories through a combination of individual interviews, group interviews, reflective diaries, reflective tapes and creative writing. Data were analysed using the framework of Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Extrapersonal and Metapersonal health proposed by Boddy and Rice (Perspectives on Health and Illness, Dunsmore Press, Palmerston North, 1992). Women reported that major changes were required in their lives in each of these aspects of health. In particular women reported labile emotions, changing body images, changing lifestyles, changing relationships with partner, family and friends, increasing dependence, decreasing role fulfillment and the need for support versus increasing isolation. The findings are of particular relevance to nurses and other health professionals involved with women with Parkinson's Disease as well as social services and voluntary agencies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2004


  • body image
  • Parkinson's disease
  • women


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