Publication Date

2012

Abstract

Aims and objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of chronic pain on the partner and family of a person with chronic pain. Background: Chronic pain impacts not only on the individual but also their partner and/or other family members. Families of people with chronic pain have reported feeling powerless, alienated, emotionally distressed, and isolated. These impacts have affected their relationship with the person with chronic pain. Design: An interpretive qualitative design using in-depth interviews and thematic analysis was undertaken. Methods: Purposive sampling and in-depth interviewing were undertaken to develop a rich description of the experience. Results: Findings indicate the impact of chronic pain on the family is extensive, resulting in physical, social, and emotional changes. Four themes were revealed: (1) Family loss, (2) Life changes, (3) Emotional impact of pain, and (4) Future plans. Conclusion: This study reinforces and expands current knowledge regarding the impact of chronic pain on partners and families. Understanding this phenomenon opens opportunities for nurses and other health workers to develop and implement strategies to better support partners/families in the future. Relevance to clinical practice: Nurses can help reduce the negative impact of pain by including families in assessment, education, referral and treatment processes, and by offering support and education to partners/families.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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