The term 'legitimation', here, refers to the process of attempting to repair disruption, and establish an acceptable and legitimate place for the condition within the person's life. In the wider sociological literature, the term 'legitimation' is used to denote the processes through which authority is made credible. In the present context, the term retains these associations, but in a much more focused manner, pointing to the individual's attempt to maintain a sense of personal integrity, and reduce the threat to social status, in the face of radically altered circumstances.
Bury, M., 'The sociology of chronic illness: a review of research and prospects'. Sociology of Health and Illness. 13, 451-68. 1991:456