Suffering and transition strategies in adult patients attending a chronic pain management programme

Authors

  • Bodil Furnes RN, Dr.Polit./PhD,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
    • Correspondence: Bodil Furnes, Associate Professor, Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, N-4036 Stavanger, Norway. Telephone: +47518341000.

      E-mail: bodil.furnes@uis.no

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  • Gerd Karin Natvig RN, Dr.Polit./PhD,

    Professor
    1. Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
    2. Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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  • Elin Dysvik RN, Dr.Polit./PhD

    Professor
    1. Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To develop a deeper understanding of suffering and useful transition strategies in patients after participation in a chronic pain management programme.

Background

Chronic pain is a complex, multifaceted, individual experience. Limitations in patients' ability to perform their usual activities, as well as social isolation, are frequently reported. This condition may include a state of suffering that leads to challenges with transitions, for which support, guidance and achievement of useful strategies are needed.

Design

Qualitative study with a descriptive and explorative design from a phenomenological perspective.

Methods

A phenomenological–hermeneutic approach was used to analyse interviews with 12 participants in a group-based cognitive–behavioural therapy management programme.

Results

Suffering from chronic pain means handling difficult thoughts and feelings. Expression of these thoughts and feelings through group support and therapeutic writing alleviates suffering. In addition, new perspectives through active involvement in the cognitive–behavioural therapy programme indicate a transition towards adaptation to the chronic pain situation.

Conclusion

Qualitative analysis of participation in a cognitive–behavioural therapy programme deepens our understanding of both patient suffering and helpful transition strategies towards adaptation. Group participation in the programme appeared to be useful in improving patients' ability to handle challenging experiences with transitions. It is essential that the patients play an active role in adaptive transitions by developing new perspectives and insight.

Relevance to clinical practice

It is an important activity for nurses or other healthcare workers to assist in the transition process so that the patient can take an active role to achieve alleviation. Focus on transition conditions seems to be helpful because it considers the factors that might facilitate successful transitions towards optimal adaptation.

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