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West J Nurs Res. 2000 Oct;22(6):683-99; discussion 699-705.

A phenomenologic study of chronic pain.

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College of Nursing, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA.


Researchers have seldom invited patients with chronic pain to describe their lived experiences. This phenomenologic study involved in-depth interviews with nine women and four men with nonmalignant chronic pain. The essence of participants' experiences was unremitting torment by a force or monster that cannot be tamed. The body was altered and recalcitrant, the life world was shrunken, and the pain set up a barrier that separated them from other people. Time seemed to stop; the future was unfathomable. Findings of this study contribute to the phenomenological literature that explores the human body and its symbolic meanings and call into question the idealized positive depiction of chronic illness that is prominent in contemporary literature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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