Three Papers on Patient Experiences with Symptom Persistent Lyme Disease in Canada
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AbstractThis dissertation consists of three empirical papers on patient experiences with symptom persistent Lyme disease in Canada. Lyme disease infection rates are rising across the country, a phenomenon attributed to climate change and the northern migration of ticks. The focus of this dissertation can advance knowledge in this area by addressing a gap in the current academic literature (a lack of patient voices). It is important that researchers continue to seek representation of patients’ embodied experiences in health research to advance equity and inclusion in healthcare. Study 1, an autoethnographic study, explores one researcher’s embodied experiences with co-occurring identities as a researcher, health professional, and patient living with chronic illness (symptom persistent Lyme disease). Study 2, a case study, explores the experiences of one young person, who is a patient with symptom persistent Lyme disease in Canada through collaborative research. Study 3, a qualitative study utilizing descriptive exploratory methodology, explores mothers’ experiences with symptom persistent Lyme disease in Canada. The findings from all three papers suggest that the government and public health agencies across the country should, on an ongoing basis, endeavor to advance public education on the risks of tick-borne illnesses. Further, the findings from each paper suggest that health professionals would benefit from continued education and training on tick-borne illness, and that ongoing collaboration between health professionals can be beneficial in the care and treatment of patients’ persistent Lyme disease symptoms. Finally, this dissertation highlights the benefits of collaborative healthcare (between alternative and Allopathic medicine) and may inform policy and decision-making focused on the prevention and treatment of Lyme disease in Canada.
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