Coping with a difficult-to-diagnose illness: The example of interstitial cystitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Some individuals who frequent medical facilities have physiologically based illnesses that are rare, difficult to diagnose, or typically underdiagnosed. These individuals may consult several physicians over a long period of time without obtaining a definitive diagnosis. Often, these individuals are women. In some instances, their symptoms are inaccurately attributed to psychological factors. Some women who suffer from interstitial cystitis, for example, have reported this experience. Four coping challenges faced by individuals with difficult-to-diagnose illnesses are suggested. These challenges are situational ambiguity, characterological attributions, blocked information seeking, and limited opportunities for downward social comparisons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-198
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Care for Women International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)

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