Exploring the experience of neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury: an interpretative phenomenological analysis study

Hearn, Jasmine Heath (2015) Exploring the experience of neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury: an interpretative phenomenological analysis study. Doctoral thesis, University of Buckingham.

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Research exploring pain following spinal cord injury (SCI) is largely quantitative, with very little known about what it is like to live with pain after SCI. In response to inconsistencies and the dearth of qualitative literature in this area, this study investigated the lived experience of neuropathic pain (NP), following SCI. This was conducted using semi-structured interviews with 16 people living with SCI-specific NP that had been present for a minimum of three months. Eight participants were inpatients in a rehabilitation centre, aged between 23 and 82, and eight were outpatients living in the community, aged between 26 and 77. Data from each sample were analysed separately using the qualitative methodology of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). For outpatients, three themes emerged: (1) the chasm between biomedical perspectives and patient needs and beliefs; (2) the battle for ultimate agency in life; and (3) the coexistence of social cohesion and social alienation. For inpatients, four themes emerged: (1) using metaphors to describe NP; (2) the spectrum of medication experience; (3) interpreting the hospital environment; and (4) thinking about the future. The results suggest that chronic NP is experienced in a biopsychosocial manner, and should be treated in such a way. In particular, participants felt that medication was heavily relied upon by healthcare professionals, despite limited efficacy, and articulated a desire for collaborative approaches to pain-management. Issues surrounding acceptance of NP, and its social impact, were also discussed. The involvement of significant others in pain management may improve communication and psychosocial outcomes. Promoting acceptance may be effective in facilitating psychological, and social well-being. Cognitive treatment incorporated with acceptance- and mindfulnessbased interventions (MBIs) may encourage adaptive responses to, and interpretation of, pain.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Spinal cord injury; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis; neuropathic pain
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: School of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Diana Hilmer
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2016 14:30
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2017 12:44
URI: http://bear.buckingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/137

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