Managing the Incurable: Older Pain Clinic Patients’ Experiences of Managing Treatment-Resistant Chronic Low Back Pain

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Abstract

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a highly prevalent disabling condition among older adults, and treatment remains a challenge. Limited research has qualitatively examined late-life CLBP and its management. Study objective was to examine how older adults experience pain management approaches for CLBP. Guided by van Manen’s phenomenological method, 21 pain clinic patients (66–83) completed semi-structured interviews. Under the main theme “Managing the incurable,” four subthemes emerged: (a) A quest for relief; (b) Spinal procedures offer temporary relief yet ongoing disappointment; (c) The apprehension of medication (d) Making things work for me. Social work practice implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-422
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
Volume64
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Chronic pain
  • older adults
  • pain clinic
  • phenomenology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)

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