Introduction. Many older people suffer from degenerative and chronic diseases resulting in chronic pain. It is important for health professionals and researchers to gain insights into experiences of chronic pain sufferers, so that they may understand the patient’s perspective and instigate appropriate treatments. Aim. This study set out to gain insights into older people’s perceptions about the effect of chronic pain on their lives and how they self-manage it. Design. A qualitative approach to generating data based on Grounded Theory was chosen. Sixty-three people between the ages of 60 and 87 years participated and were interviewed using audiotape. The interviews were transcribed and subsequently analyzed, and the material was coded and collapsed into themes constituting the final grounded theory. Results. As the data collection progressed, a major theme of perseverance emerged, supported by two subthemes: • keeping occupied, and • a focus on social activities. It became apparent that the participants were determined to get on with their lives. Those with strong social links appeared to have a more positive outlook on life. Conclusions. "Keeping going" was a priority for most of the participants. It may be beneficial to identify the ways in which older people persevere despite chronic pain. It is important for health professionals to appreciate the social factors which are important to, and valued by, older people who experience chronic pain.
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|Published - Apr 2007