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Pain Manag Nurs. 2014 Sep;15(3):e13-24. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2013.06.002. Epub 2013 Aug 31.

Experiences with spinal cord stimulator in patients with chronic neuropathic back pain.

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Stavanger University Hospital, Neurosurgery Unit, Stavanger, Norway. Electronic address:
Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Health Studies, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.


Neuropathic pain is a complex, chronic, and disabling condition that has physical, functional, and psychosocial repercussions. Although the estimated prevalence of neuropathic pain in the general population ranges from 1.5% to 8%, neuropathic pain is frequently underdiagnosed and undertreated. The aims of this study were to examine the experience of patients treated with spinal cord stimulation as a pain-relieving treatment and how this may influence the patient's ability to participate in everyday life activities. A qualitative approach based on seven telephone interviews was performed. The participants were recruited from a university hospital in Norway, and all used spinal cord stimulation as a pain-relieving treatment. Qualitative content analysis was used. Two thematic findings emerged: (1) pain relief with spinal cord stimulation as a complex and individual experience and (2) challenges in adaptations in everyday life with spinal cord stimulation. Findings indicate that spinal cord stimulation can offer pain relief that can help patients achieve a meaningful life despite chronic pain. Spinal cord stimulation also may have disadvantages that should be considered before offering this treatment. It seems evident that extended information needs about working mechanism of SCS and precautions as well as follow-up are required to meet unexpected challenges in adaptation. Here the nurse has an important role when informing and following this patient group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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