Pain acceptance in cancer patients with chronic pain in Hunan, China: A qualitative study

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Objective: The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the experiences of pain acceptance in Chinese cancer patients with chronic pain. Methods: Twelve hospitalized cancer patients with chronic pain participated in this qualitative descriptive study from August to November 2017. In-person semi-structured interviews were conducted, recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using Colaizzi's seven-step method. Results: The following four main themes and 15 subthemes emerged. Theme 1 (adaptation): pain is overwhelming and pain relief is a top priority, avoidance of pain-inducing factors, and resignation; theme 2 (emotional reactions to pain): feeling misunderstood, hopelessness, frustration, irritability, and concern for loved ones; theme 3 (functional limitations): daily life activities, social communication, and work; theme 4 (coping strategies): pharmacological therapies, behavioral strategies, social support strategies, and spiritual strategies. Conclusions: This study provides a description of cancer patients’ experiences related to the need for pain acceptance. These findings provide insight into the essential role of pain acceptance and underline the need to apply acceptance-based cognitive behavioral interventions as adjunctive non-pharmacological alternatives for chronic cancer pain.




Xu, X., Cheng, Q., Ou, M., Li, S., Xie, C., & Chen, Y. (2019). Pain acceptance in cancer patients with chronic pain in Hunan, China: A qualitative study. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 6(4), 385–391.

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