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Health-within-illness: concept development through research and practice

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Abstract

This paper presents the concept of health-within-illness as an opportunity that increases meaningfulness of life through connectedness or relatedness with the environment and/or awareness of self during a state of compromised well-being. The conceptual development evolved through a research programme on women diagnosed with breast cancer and examples from the research are used to illustrate various components of the definition. Evidence from nursing literature and practicing nurses further enhances development of the health-within-illness concept. Although the health-within-illness idea was originally proposed by Moch (1989) and has been referred to in nursing literature, a conceptual definition is not available. Suggestions for further research and practice are included.

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