1 University of Tartu, 2 University of Kuopio
The basis of the analysis of the individual meanings of illness are the negative consequences of illness in a personís life. Illness is discussed as insecurity, a generator of existential loneliness and ontological crisis, a weakening unity with the surrounding world, an opposition of the body to the "ego", etc. The danger of death acquires a significant role in the factor containing the Estoniansí individual meanings of illness. In the meanings of illness of the Finnish, death is not a separate factor, it spreads between other fears. In the answers of Estonian respondents the social meanings of illness form two complexes, in one of them work is emphasised, in the other social roles are stressed. In the case of Finnish respondents the social meanings of illness join into one factor. Taken by the age groups the differences in illness interpretations between the respondents of different countries are not statistically significant.
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