Lene Bastrup

Back pain - a feeling of being mistrusted and lack of recognition: A qualitative study

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Research shows that suffering from back pain can be associated with great personal costs and that patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery experience particularly problematic illness trajectories and struggle with existential challenges related to living with pain for many years.

To explore how patients with back pain experience their illness trajectories and the interaction with the healthcare system.

Data were collected through observations and semi-structured interviews. Data analysis was based on the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur’s phenomenological hermeneutic theory of interpretation.

Before the spinal fusion surgery, back pain had a great negative influence on the patients’ everyday lives. Insinuations of being a hypochondriac and having to hide their pain to avoid becoming a burden caused insecurity. Several patients experienced pain relieving effect when talking about their experiences. However, they felt that the healthcare professionals were pressed for time and mainly interested in their physiological problems. Patients were left with a feeling of being mistrusted, powerlessness, insecurity and loss of identity.

Lifeworld-experiences are not given priority when dealing with patients suffering from back pain. To accommodate individual needs, aspects related to the patients’ experiences of their illness trajectories should be taken into account regarding patient communication.

Translated title of the contributionRysmerte - en følelse af mistænkeliggørelse og mangel på anerkendelse
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

    Research areas

  • back pain, spinal fusion surgery, being mistrusted, invisibility, psychosocial, communication, recognition

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