Chronic pain self-management interventions in primary care – does it make any difference? A qualitative study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background Total recovery from chronic pain is difficult. It is therefore important for those who are suffering from chronic pain to find ways to self-manage their pain in daily life. Several chronic pain self-management interventions have been established, but more knowledge is needed to find out what and how it works. This study aimed to explore how the participants in two chronic pain self-management interventions in primary health care experienced the different components of the interventions, and whether the interventions induced any positive changes in the participants’ everyday lives. Methods A qualitative study nested within a randomized controlled study using semi-structured individual face-to-face interviews with 17 informants were conducted three months after the interventions. The data were analysed thematically using Systematic Text Condensation. Results The main finding was that the informants, from both interventions, self-managed their chronic pain differently in a positive way after they had participated in the self-management interventions. The participants gained new insight from lectures, learning from peers by sharing experiences and belonging to a group, and by recognizing the importance of being physically active. Conclusion This study shows that chronic pain self-management interventions consisting of components that learn the participants about chronic pain and include physical activity in a socially supportive environment, may contribute to a positive change in the lives of people living with chronic pain.