• Mads Norre Christensen
  • Emil Madsen
  • Søren Ravn Sloth
Introduction: Chronic pain is an increasing burden and in 2017 it was estimated that 1.300.000 Danes were living with chronic pain. According to clinical guidelines regarding the treatment of chronic pain, as well as the description of a usual course of treatment, it appears that there is a demand on chronic pain patients' ability to self-manage. To help people with chronic pain healthcare professionals should take into account the specific barriers and facilitators that people with chronic pain experience. However, these are not currently studied in the context of Denmark.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate which barriers and facilitators people with chronic pain experience when trying to self-manage their chronic condition.

Method: This study was based on a qualitative and phenomenological approach. Eleven informants with primary chronic musculoskeletal pain were recruited through a rehabilitation center in Denmark. These informants completed semi-structured interviews, and the interviews were analyzed using a thematic analysis.

Results: Five barriers and facilitators for self-management were identified. The five barriers included: 1) identity, 2) validation, 3) uncertainty, 4) thoughts and emotions, and 5) prioritizing resources. The theme “identity” included three sub-themes: 1) against one's identity, 2) social role and 3) acceptance of limitations. Furthermore, the theme “thoughts and emotions” included three sub-themes: 1) worrying about the future, 2) feeling like a burden, and 3) thoughts and sleep disturbances. Regarding facilitators the following themes were identified: 1) acceptance of the current situation, 2) social support, 3) pacing, 4) optimism, and 5) pain-relieving strategies and treatment. The theme “social support” included three sub-themes: 1) validation from others, 2) social support in everyday life, and 3) validation of the pain experience.

Conclusion: This current study provides clinicians and researchers with a unique insight into the barriers and facilitators perceived by chronic pain patients when trying to self-manage their chronic pain condition. Implementing these barriers and facilitators can help healthcare professionals better understand the challenges that chronic pain patients face when self-managing their chronic pain condition.
Publication date21 Jun 2021
Number of pages99
External collaboratorAalborg Kommune
no name vbn@aub.aau.dk
ID: 413366161