Experiences and consequences of pain in persons with post-polio syndrome


Marita Widar Department of Caring Sciences, University of Örebro, S-701 82 Örebro, Sweden.


This study describes the meaning of pain and its implications for everyday life in 35 persons with symptoms of post-polio syndrome. The mean age of the study group is 65 years and the sex ratio of men to women is 1·5:1. The study persons were interviewed on two occasions in their homes and answered a pain questionnaire. The result shows that everyday vocabulary is used to express pain experiences. The study persons normally answered that it hurt, although the interviewers used pain in their questions. The results show that the lower back is the most common location of pain. Joint pains are most common in the upper extremities. The pain is worst in the evening and at night, and tangibly affects the daily rhythm. Physical strain and climatic factors commonly provoke pain, whereas rest and heat give relief. The study show that interviews and pain questionnaire should be supplemented with questions on activities so as to gain a comprehensive view of the difficulties experienced in everyday life.