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Pain Med. 2009 Oct;10(7):1280-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2009.00707.x.

Barriers and facilitators to chronic pain self-management: a qualitative study of primary care patients with comorbid musculoskeletal pain and depression.

Author information

1
VA Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence on Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. mbair@iupui.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify barriers and facilitators to self-management of chronic musculoskeletal pain among patients with comorbid pain and depression.

DESIGN:

A qualitative study using focus group methodology.

SETTING:

Veteran Affairs (VA) and University primary care clinics.

PATIENTS:

Recruited after participation in a clinical trial.

INTERVENTION:

The Stepped Care for Affective Disorders and Musculoskeletal Pain (SCAMP) trial tested an intervention of optimized antidepressant therapy combined with a pain self-management program versus usual care for primary care patients with comorbid chronic pain and depression.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Thematic content analysis from focus group data was used to identify patient-perceived barriers and facilitators to self-management of chronic musculoskeletal pain.

RESULTS:

Patients (N = 18) were 27 to 84 years old (M = 54.8), 61% women, 72% white, and 22% black. Barriers to pain self-management included: 1) lack of support from friends and family; 2) limited resources (e.g., transportation, financial); 3) depression; 4) ineffectiveness of pain-relief strategies; 5) time constraints and other life priorities; 6) avoiding activity because of fear of pain exacerbation; 7) lack of tailoring strategies to meet personal needs; 8) not being able to maintain the use of strategies after study completion; 9) physical limitations; and 10) difficult patient-physician interactions. Facilitators to improve pain self-management included 1) encouragement from nurse care managers; 2) improving depression with treatment; 3) supportive family and friends; and 4) providing a menu of different self-management strategies to use.

CONCLUSIONS:

Future research is needed to confirm these findings and to design interventions that capitalize on the facilitators identified while at the same time addressing the barriers to pain self-management.

PMID:
19818038
PMCID:
PMC2884223
DOI:
10.1111/j.1526-4637.2009.00707.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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