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Alethea Baker


Psoriatic disease (PD) is an autoimmune disease that affects millions of women and currently has no cure. Examining the lived experience of women with PD who choose to treat their disease with alternative methods may allow for deeper understanding of how mental health professionals can support their choices. Using phenomenology, this study looked at the experiences of these women through theories of self-efficacy and self-in-relation theory, theories that empower and speak to women. The participants consisted of women who reported a diagnosis of PD, who reported they had abstained from pharmaceutical interventions for at least the previous six months. The sample size consisted of 7 participants, recruited through social media, from various parts of the world. Explication was used to assess the data and consisted of the following: bracketing and phenomenological reduction, delineating units of meaning, clustering of units of meaning to form themes, summarizing each interview, and extracting general and unique themes from all interviews and making a composite summary. The findings of this study showed that the participants reported feeling capable of pursuing health options that aligned with their values and were not opposed to pharmaceutical options at some point. In addition, findings indicated participants felt minimal, if any, support from their medical care providers. The results of the study may facilitate positive social change by informing women with PD about the benefits of taking an active role in treatment planning. Further, this study’s results may expand knowledge about treatment of women with PD and inform medical professionals, specifically mental health professionals, about what is important to these women in terms of a treatment plan.

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