Narrative Therapy and Stigma Management: Restorying the Patient Experience of Being Told, "You Have MS"

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology


Multiple sclerosis, Qualitative research, Diagnosis, Chronic illness, Stigma, MS, Illness narrative, Stigma management, Narrative therapy


The purpose of this investigation was to determine if the way patients are informed of the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) affects their feelings about themselves as people with MS. Building on illness narrative, I hoped to examine how patients “storied” their experience of being informed of the diagnosis of MS and whether this “storying” had a lasting impact on their self-concept. The alternative would be that no connection exists between how a neurologist informs a patient of the diagnosis and how a person makes sense of their diagnosis and life with MS. Due to study limitations (e.g., small sample size, threat of response bias), the results are unclear about whether the way in which the news is broken has a lasting effect on patients' perceptions. However, review of the literature and patient responses indicate that there is a need for psychological intervention when patients are diagnosed with MS.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

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