Living a Life Full of Pain: Older Pain Clinic Patients’ Experience of Living With Chronic Low Back Pain

Meredith Stensland, Sara Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is older adults’ most common pain complaint and is associated with many physical and psychosocial consequences, which have been quantitatively examined. However, little research has qualitatively examined the experience itself of CLBP in later life. Study objective was to understand older adults’ lived CLBP experience. Guided by van Manen’s phenomenological method, 21 pain clinic patients aged 66 to 83 completed semistructured interviews. Under the main theme “living a life full of pain,” results are reflected in four existential subthemes: (a) Corporeality: The pain is relentless and constantly monitored, (b) Temporality: To live with pain is to live by pacing day and night, (c) Relationality: Pain creates limits that can be tested or obeyed, and (d) Spatiality: Manipulating the space around me to accommodate the pain. Findings improve understanding of the patient experience of late life CLBP and highlights the importance of empathy and patient-centeredness when treating older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1434-1448
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Health Research
Volume28
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • aging
  • chronic pain
  • midwest United States
  • phenomenology
  • phenomenology
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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