Low back pain (LBP) is the most common form of chronic pain. Approximately
85% to 90% of chronic low back pain (CLBP) episodes in primary care cannot
be related to serious pathology or neurocompression, being described as nonspecific
chronic low back pain (NSCLBP). This disorder involves continuous
pain or recurrent flare-ups that are responsible for high levels of distress,
functional disability and work absenteeism. It has also a significant impact on
health care systems and society in general.
Considering the complexity inherent in the experience of NSCLBP, where
personal and cultural contexts play a major role, research has highlighted the
need to study this phenomenon in contexts that have not yet been investigated.
This study aimed to explore the Portuguese individuals` experiences and
perceptions of NSCLBP. An interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was
employed to explore the experiences of eight participants, who were recruited
purposefully from three Portuguese health sites. Semi-structured one-to-one
interviews were carried out in order to collect data. The interviews were audiorecorded
and transcribed verbatim. Following an inductive process of data
analysis, five themes emerged as interrelated parts of an extended account that
explored the Portuguese individuals` experiences and perceptions of NSCLBP.
In the first theme the disruptive nature of the NSCLBP experience was
emphasised. In the second, the participants` meaning making of NSCLBP and
their need to understand it were highlighted. In the third, the clinical encounters
and their contribution to maintaining the lack of participants’ understanding
about NSCLBP were emphasised. In the fourth, the meaning making of
NSCLBP contribution to reshaping the participants` social interactions was
explored. In the fifth, the participants` definition of their sense of self through the
meaning making of NSCLBP was highlighted. In order to promote the
transparency of data analysis, an audit trail was developed to document all
relevant steps of this process. This study has offered the first insights into the
Portuguese individuals’ experiences of NSCLBP disorder, which may help
clinicians in transferring this knowledge to the therapeutic approach to patients
with similar experiences. The knowledge produced may be used to inform
recommendations for NSCLBP management.
|Date of Award||May 2016|