Listening to the body and talking to myself - the impact of chronic lower back pain: A qualitative study

  • Crowe M
  • Whitehead L
  • Gagan M
 et al. 
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Abstract Aims The aim was to investigate peoples' experiences of the impact of chronic low back pain. Background Chronic low back pain is a complex disorder with wide-ranging adverse consequences that can impact on people's lifestyles and self-image. It is also a condition that can sometimes be treated with some scepticism by health care providers and other people in the person's life. It has been suggested that further research into the subjective experience of chronic blow back pain is needed to develop a better understanding of its impact. Design This study is a qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews with 64 participants identified as having chronic low back pain who were interviewed about the impact of the condition on their lives. The data were analysed using a method of inductive thematic analysis. Findings Four main themes were identified: the unpredictability of the pain, the need for vigilance, the externalization/objectification of the body and the alteration to sense of self. Conclusion Nurses have an important role to play in working with patients experiencing chronic low back pain to identify any patterns associated with exacerbations of the condition, validating their experiences of chronic low back pain and facilitating the accommodation of chronic low back pain into a more satisfying sense of self. Keywords Patient experience; Chronic low back pain; Back pain; Nursing; Qualitative research; Pain management; Self-image; Health care

Author-supplied keywords

  • -
  • Back
  • Back Pain
  • Pain

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  • Marie Crowe

  • Lisa Whitehead

  • Mary Jo Gagan

  • G.David Baxter

  • Avin Pankhurst

  • Vivienne Valledor

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