Two Narratives on Chronic Pain Management: A Qualitative Study on the Lived Experiences of Two Individuals Living with Chronic Pain

Zhixin Jiang, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

Pain is a universal experience that is also deeply personal. A wide range of bio-psycho-social factors can mediate an individual’s experience of pain, acute or chronic. The impact of chronic pain is multilevel: individual, interpersonal, community, and national. Each year in the U.S., chronic pain affects approximately 100 million adults, more than the combination of those affected by heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and costs the economy between $560 to $635 billion in medical care and lost productivity. Vulnerable populations have a higher risk for under-treatment. Gaps exist in the literature in regards to individual experiences of chronic pain from the perspectives from ethnic minorities. A better understanding of the pain narrative from members of the ethnic minority is needed to identify potential causes of disparities and to develop culturally appropriate treatments and management plans. The broad aim of this paper was to learn about pain experiences and management from two minority women who lived with chronic pain. Content used for this project came from a qualitative research study that explored pain management from the perspectives of professional stakeholders and individuals with chronic pain. The findings included themes of emotional isolation, social support, agency, reestablishing normalcy, perceived and enacted stigma, hiding the pain, and social isolation. While familial and social support did aid in the process of readjusting to a new life with chronic pain, the issue of emotional isolation remained. Our findings supported using an interdisciplinary approach to more effectively address the negative professional and social outcomes, as well as the mental health, of individuals who live with chronic pain.^

Subject Area

Social research|Medicine|Public health

Recommended Citation

Jiang, Zhixin, "Two Narratives on Chronic Pain Management: A Qualitative Study on the Lived Experiences of Two Individuals Living with Chronic Pain" (2018). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10790754.
https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI10790754

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