In this issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Pain Tapio Ojala and co-workers publish a qualitative, phenomenological study focusing on health care providers’ difficulties in trying to understand chronic pain patients and communicate with them, and how failed communication negatively affects quality of life of the patients . They demonstrate vividly how pain patients have negative experiences in their contacts with the health care system, how they are stigmatized in several ways, and how detrimental is the lack of empathy from those who are supposed to help. Their impression after in depth interviews of 34 patients with various causes of long term non-cancer pain, and formally analyzing the responses according to Giorgi’s four-phase phenomenological method, are that: Chronic pain patients without obvious anatomical explanation of their pain, experience disbelief and lack of trust from their health care providers (mostly physicians). The patients can experience that the helpers “do not understand how the patients are suffering”; they “do not know how to treat these pain conditions”. The patients get the impression that the helpers often say implicit that “the pain is only in your head”. The patients can feel that they are outright rejected by their doctors and other helpers
Scandinavian Journal of Pain – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 2015
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