Evid Based Nurs 3:29 doi:10.1136/ebn.3.1.29
  • Qualitative

Adults with chronic low back pain felt frustrated, unsupported, and powerless with healthcare, social, and legal systems

 QUESTION: What are the experiences of adults with chronic, benign, low back pain as they seek help and support from healthcare, social, and legal systems?




2 pain clinics in southern UK.


20 consecutive adults (age range 28–80 y, 60% men, duration of low back pain 2–50 y) with chronic, benign, low back pain who had recently started to come to the pain clinic.


Adults were interviewed for 1.5–3 hours in their homes by 1 of 2 investigators. The adults were asked to tell their stories (lived experiences) from inception of the pain. Probing, non-directive questions were used to elicit their feelings and thoughts about experiences and situations related to their pain. Issues related to healthcare, social, and legal services were explored if they emerged spontaneously. Audio tapes were transcribed and themes were developed, which were then validated by another researcher.

Main findings

5 sequential themes were identified: the pain takes …

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