Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Health Sciences, Nursing.


Hernandez, C.




Crohn's disease (CD) is one of the conditions that is classified under inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn's disease is a chronic condition that is increasing in incidence in women. Four women were interviewed on three or four occasions over a two year period. All interviews were transcribed verbatim. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to provide an understanding of the experience of women living with Crohn's disease (CD). This study also verified, through the emergent fit mode, that Hernandez' theory of integration was useful in explaining the phases that women went through in learning to live with CD. The three phases of integration identified in this study were the having CD phase, turning point phase and science of one phase. This three-phase process involved the integration of the personal self that existed prior to the diagnosis of CD and the CD self, which emerged after diagnosis. The common problem was discovered to be the necessity of dealing with the two selves. Lifeways, or characteristic patterns of thinking or acting, were found in the first phase and the third phase that kept individuals in that particular phase. Having CD consisted of the lifeways of denying, normalizing, minimizing and personifying. The science of one phase consisted of the lifeways of tuning in and engaging others. Three women were found to be in the having CD phase and one was in the science of one phase. Although more research is required to explore and confirm the study findings, the theory of integration does have potential for use by the advanced practice nurse to improve the physical health and quality of life of individuals living with CD. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2002 .C65. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 41-04, page: 1056. Adviser: Cheri Hernandez. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2002.