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Managing life with chronic pain: An interpretative phenomenological analysis

Orlowska, Danuta; (2000) Managing life with chronic pain: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Life with chronic pain presents considerable physical and psychological challenges for the individual and those around them. This qualitative study asked eighteen volunteers (nine men and nine women) with non-malignant chronic pain at an inpatient pain management programme about situations in which they feel understood, or not, when talking about their chronic pain and ways in which they talk about their pain. Each participant was interviewed twice: during the first two weeks of a four week multidisciplinary programme and two to three months after leaving. Supplementary data were sought using the Illness Perception Questionnaire (Weinman, Petrie, Moss-Morris and Home, 1996) and the Beck Hopelessness Scale (Beck, Weissman, Lester & Trexler, 1974). Interviews were processed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, 1995). Four main themes were found in the first set of interviews. These were experiences of treatment, self-perception and comparisons, experiences of the reactions of others and attempts to manage the impact of chronic pain on self and others. The follow-up interviews also generated a theme of experience of treatment (pain management and beyond) and a theme of integrating pain management strategies into everyday life. This study answers the call for more emphasis on the personal experience of pain (Osborn & Smith, 1998) in the psychology literature, and makes a contribution to the suggested focus on the social and linguistic processes and dynamics of how people with chronic pain construct their identity (Eccleston, Williams and Stainton Rogers, 1997). The individual with chronic pain is conceptualised as attempting to manage the impact of their chronic pain considering short term and long term psychological and other consequences on not just self but others.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Managing life with chronic pain: An interpretative phenomenological analysis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Health and environmental sciences; Pain management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101171
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