Patients' experiences of changes in health complaints before, during, and after removal of dental amalgam
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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In this article, we explore how patients with health complaints attributed to dental amalgam experienced and gave meaning to changes in health complaints before, during, and after removal of all amalgam fillings. We conducted semistructured qualitative interviews with 12 participants from the treatment group in a Norwegian amalgam removal trial. Interviews took place within a couple months of the final follow-up 5 years after amalgam removal. Using the NVivo9 software, we conducted an explorative and reflective thematic analysis and identified the following themes: Something is not working: betrayed by the body, You are out there on your own, Not being sure of the importance of amalgam removal, The relief experienced after amalgam removal, and To accept, to give up, or to continue the search. We discuss the findings in the context of patients’ assigning meaning to illness experiences.