Background The prevalence of chronic widespread pain is approximately 10–15% and it is a common problem in primary health care. Being female and older is associated with higher prevalence. Chronic pain is generally associated with low activity level, low work capability, and negative health consequences. Studies of education and exercise have shown effective results for patients with chronic pain. This pain school rehabilitation program “Knowledge for life” has been developed by professionals together with the Swedish Rheumatoid Association for use in primary health care, but is not previously evaluated.
Objectives To evaluate the experience of participation in the pain school rehabilitation program Knowledge for life in patients with chronic widespread pain
Methods 12 women (age 25–72 years) with chronic widespread pain were included in this qualitative interview study set in primary health care. Semi-structured interviews were held 10 weeks after participating in four weekly group sessions. Interviews were performed by two authors and transcribed verbatim. Data was analyzed through content analysis according to Graneheim and Lundman (1). Analyzes were performed by the first author, but was controlled by co-authors for agreement. Results are presented through themes and categories. Informed consent were signed by all participants.
Results The preliminary results are based on four interviews. The analysis resulted in five themes, which are the meaning of the group, positive experience of movement, change of relationship to self, change of relationship to pain, and external circumstances of change. The meaning of the group reflects upon the shared experiences and a sense of belonging deriving from the group discussions. Positive experience of movement describes the participants' experiences of physical activity and exercise related to their body, group activities and change of habit and attitude towards movement in general. The participants described a change of relationship to self and change of relationship to pain related to increased knowledge, acceptance, and active strategies. External circumstances to change was also identified describing the leader and setting to be important factors in stimulating change.
Conclusions Participation in a pain school rehabilitation program contributed to increased knowledge and awareness about pain and about the self for the patients with chronic widespread pain in the present study. They also reported positive experiences of group sessions and of physical activity and exercise. The program provides a structure of rehabilitation for patients with chronic widespread pain.
Graneheim UH & Lundman B. Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Educ Today. 2004;24: 105–112.
Disclosure of Interest None declared