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Managing the symptoms of neuropathic pain : an exploration of patient's experiences.

Closs, S. José and Staples, Victoria and Reid, Innes and Bennett, Michael I. and Briggs, Michelle (2007) Managing the symptoms of neuropathic pain : an exploration of patient's experiences. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 34 (4). pp. 422-433. ISSN 0885-3924

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Abstract

The debilitating effects of chronic neuropathic pain on everyday life are considerable, but little is known about how individual sufferers manage these effects. Virtually nothing is known about what patients prefer, what measures they take themselves and when, or in what combinations. The aim of this study was to explore patients' reports of how they managed their neuropathic pain symptoms. Three focus groups (10 participants in total) were used to generate qualitative data on both individual and shared experiences of managing symptoms of neuropathic pain. Discussions were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis, identifying categories and broader themes of importance to patients. The most common management strategy was the use of conventional medications, often associated with poor effectiveness and unpleasant side effects. Complementary and alternative medicine was ineffective, but many found resting or retreating helpful. They exhibited a repeated cycle of seeking help to manage the pain, with each unsuccessful attempt followed by new attempts. Some had tried to accept their pain, but there was insufficient psychological, social, emotional, and practical support to allow them to do this successfully. This exploratory study provides a basis from which to develop a larger study to validate and extend the findings. Other issues meriting research are the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapies for those with neuropathic pain, and an exploration and subsequent evaluation of different types of social, practical, and emotional support needed to help live with neuropathic pain.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pain ; neuropathic pain ; self-management ; patient perspective ; qualitative ; focus group method
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
ID Code: 32238
Deposited By: Mr Richard Ingham
Deposited On: 12 Mar 2010 14:56
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 17:07
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/32238

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