Lene Bastrup

Acknowledging the patient with back pain: A systematic review based on thematic synthesis

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Abstract NOF 2014

Acknowledging the back patient. A thematic synthesis of qualitative research. A systematic literature review.

Introduction: Back conditions and back pain rank among the most common causes of reduced working capacity and lengthy, challenging and costly illness trajectories and are associated with heavy personal costs and hospitalisations. Thus, it has been the aim of this qualitative literature review to investigate what it feels like to be a back patient and what back patients consider important when dealing with the healthcare system.

Methods: The thematic synthesis aims to systematise and integrate findings of qualitative studies.
The method draws on Thomas' and Hardens approach in "Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews" (2008).

Results: The analysis reveals that many back patients feel that their experiences and perceptions are ignored by the health professionals, who are often concerned about identifying the cause. This can result in patients feeling mistrusted, marginalised and reluctant to speak out. Therefore, telling about experiences and perceptions is important for back patients in order to feel accepted and acknowledged. The health professionals must incorporate the patients’ narratives as an integral part of the care and treatment.

In order to acknowledge the back patient the narrative must be complemented by a different perspective that includes the issue of ethical responsibility. It is therefore also a question of adopting certain norms as binding; to be bound by obligation or loyalty. Thus, the literature review argues for a more process-oriented patient approach that incorporates patients' narratives as an integral and ethical part of the care and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Publication yearMay 2014
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - May 2014
EventNordic Orthopaedic Federation Congress 2014 - Scandic Marina Congress Centre, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 7 May 20149 May 2014


ConferenceNordic Orthopaedic Federation Congress 2014
LocationScandic Marina Congress Centre

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