Author(s) Information

Kailey AnichiniFollow

Streaming Media

Name of Corresponding Author

Kailey Anichini

Name of Faculty Advisor

Jorgia Connor


The purpose of the project is to describe the meaning of the lived experience of college students with a chronic illness.

Background and significance

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2019), one in four students, ages, six to nineteen, is living with a chronic disease in America. The CDC (2019) defines a chronic disease as a condition that lasts one year or more and requires ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Studies have shown that college students with chronic illness find it difficult to succeed in traditional degree programs due to disruptions caused by relapses and unpredictable waxing and waning symptoms. In addition, college students who are 18 to 22 years of age, are transitioning from childhood/adolescence to adulthood. Living with a chronic illness can challenge the transition when there is a lack of support and shifts in wellness. The information collected from this project will add to the understanding of how living with chronic disease affect college-going students and has implications for promoting optimal adjustment and adaptation to college life

Theoretical/Conceptual framework



This study will utilize a cross-sectional, qualitative design using in-depth interviews through a semi-structured question guide. Four participants will be recruited through social networks. Inclusion criteria include understands/speaks English, lives in the Chicagoland area, currently enrolled as a full-time undergraduate college student, and were recently diagnosed with a chronic disease. The interview guide asks open-ended questions about their experience living with a chronic illness during college. Interviews will be conducted via phone or video conferencing and will be audio recorded.


Data collection is completed. The Interviews were transcribed verbatim. Examination of relevant text is currently being analyzed. Relevant text will be analyzed using the coding and categorizing of recurrent themes and ideas. Expected themes may include the need for improved representation, accommodations, acceptance, and available resources on campus for students living with a chronic illness.


This proposed qualitative study will contribute to the understanding of accommodations necessary to achieve academic, social, and emotional success and satisfaction for college students living with a chronic illness.



Exploring the Lived Experience of Full-Time College Students Recently Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness