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Pain Med. 2017 Jul 1;18(7):1225-1235. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnw196.

Physical, Emotional, and Social Impacts of Restricting Back Pain in Older Adults: A Qualitative Study.

Author information

1
Departments of Internal Medicine.
2
Clinical Sciences, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.
3
Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, VA North Texas Health Care System, Dallas, Texas.
4
Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
5
Department of Medicine, VA Connecticut Health Care System, West Haven, Connecticut.
6
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.
7
Comparative Effectiveness, Cost and Outcomes Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
8
Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, USA.

Abstract

Objective:

Back pain is the most common type of pain reported by older adults, yet current management strategies often do not address the multi-dimensional impacts on older adults who face unique challenges as compared with younger populations. The objective of this qualitative study was to assess the physical, psychological, and social impacts of back pain (severe enough to restrict activity, hereafter referred to as restricting back pain) on older adults.

Design:

This was a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews and focus groups.

Setting and Patients:

This study was comprised of a diverse sample of 93 community-living older adults (median age 83) with restricting back pain.

Methods:

We used a semi-structured guide in 23 interviews and 16 focus groups to discuss the various ways that restricting back pain impacted participants. Transcripts were analyzed in an iterative process to develop thematic categories.

Results:

Restricting back pain affected participants physically (inability to execute routine tasks, disruption of sleep and exercise), psychologically (feelings of sadness and irritability, fears about worsening health, loss of hope towards recovery or pain relief), and socially (experiences of isolation, inability to pursue hobbies).

Conclusions:

These data inform which outcomes should be measured in studies evaluating treatments for older adults with restricting back pain.

KEYWORDS:

Aged; Back Pain; Biopsychosocial Model; Impact; Musculoskeletal Conditions; Qualitative Research

PMID:
27516362
PMCID:
PMC5914385
DOI:
10.1093/pm/pnw196
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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