Living with Pain or Living in Pain : Narrative Journeys with Low Back Pain

Blackburn, Alison (2011) Living with Pain or Living in Pain : Narrative Journeys with Low Back Pain. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

This study used a qualitative method to focus on the perspectives, beliefs and expectations of low back pain sufferers. The research was undertaken within a hospital based pain clinic.

In recent years low back pain research has proliferated, and the epidemiological evidence suggests that back pain is an increasing problem. Much attention has been paid to the impact of low back pain on the population, and to the increasing cost in economic and health terms. Biomedical and psychological evidence abounds to shape acute and chronic management of low back pain, but there is a dearth of information about the viewpoint of those suffering pain. This study attempted to bring the understanding of the back pain sufferer to the fore. Issues of quality of life, functional ability and the impact of back pain on their lifestyle were explored, along with the influence of contextual factors in relation to how back pain sufferers perceived themselves and how others perceived them. A narrative method was utilized to illuminate the journey with pain. Nine interviews were conducted, and the interpretation and presentation of the narratives generated was influenced by Ricoeur’s interpretative theory. Thematic analysis revealed that doctorability, agency, control, separation or acceptance of the pain and the concept of future life were key features within the narratives. The analysis highlighted that for the majority in this study pain arrived uninvited following a traumatic accident or incident, and back pain became a chronic condition. It was always unwanted and initially it was unexpected as the usual script for pain is one of a transient incapacity followed by recovery. It was precisely this deviation from the norm that resulted in difficulties for the people suffering the pain. Biographical differences did not appear to be identifiable in the themes discerned in the stories, nor in the overall structure.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chronic pain, Narrative methodology, Separation and acceptance of pain, Importance of future
Subjects: B100 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Health, Community and Education Studies > Public Health and Wellbeing
University Services > Research and Business Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
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Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2011 14:27
Last Modified: 09 May 2017 13:51
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1536

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