Living well through chronic illness: The relevance of virtue theory to patients with chronic osteoarthritis
Article first published online: 14 OCT 2002
Copyright © 2002 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Volume 47, Issue 5, pages 474–478, 15 October 2002
How to Cite
Swift, T. L., Ashcroft, R. E., Tadd, W., Campbell, A. V. and Dieppe, P. A. (2002), Living well through chronic illness: The relevance of virtue theory to patients with chronic osteoarthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 47: 474–478. doi: 10.1002/art.10664
- Issue published online: 14 OCT 2002
- Article first published online: 14 OCT 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 JAN 2002
- Manuscript Received: 28 JUN 2001
- European Commission. Grant Number: BMH4-98-3112
- European Commission BIOMED II Programme
- Virtue theory;
- Chronic illness
Virtues and vices possessed by patients may affect their quality of life and how well they cope with disease. The objective of this study is to assess the relevance of the concept of virtue and vice to patients with chronic arthritis.
Aristotle's theory of virtue and vice was used to construct a guide for in-depth interviews, carried out with 5 patients with chronic osteoarthritis. Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed, and analyzed (using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis) for information on personal qualities or intellectual approaches that participants thought necessary to thrive in the face of chronic disease.
Five main themes emerged: strength, prudence, gratitude, self-worth, and insight into flourishing. The data on each of these is compared with Aristotle's definitions of virtues and vices.
Aristotle's virtue theory can be applied to the narratives of these patients with chronic osteoarthritis, and may help in understanding their coping strategies and quality of life.