How sickle cell disease patients experience, understand and explain their pain: An interpretative phenomenological analysis study

Journal article


Coleman, B., Ellis-Caird, H., McGowan, J. and Benjamin, M. 2016. How sickle cell disease patients experience, understand and explain their pain: An interpretative phenomenological analysis study. British Journal of Health Psychology. 21 (1), pp. 190-203. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12157
AuthorsColeman, B., Ellis-Caird, H., McGowan, J. and Benjamin, M.
Abstract

Objectives
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the UK's most common blood disorder causing sickle shaped red blood cells to block small blood vessels inducing both acute and chronic pain. A crucial factor in determining quality of life for those with SCD is the severity, timing and number of painful sickling episodes. However, little research focuses on the nature of pain and so it is poorly understood. The aim of this study is to provide an in-depth and meaning led account of the experience of SCD pain.

Design
Qualitative research design.

Methods
Seven face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Results
Participants described experiencing unimaginable, agonising, continuous, inescapable and limitless pain which was almost impossible to describe; participants resorted to using analogy and personification as a way to overcome this difficulty. Participants spoke about a process where, ultimately, they felt obliged to accept their illness as it would never be cured; but were able to appreciate life and recognize positive life lessons as a result of living with SCD.

Conclusions
This research indicates that therapeutic work around analogy can help individuals understand and express their pain and that current attempts to measure pain are unhelpful for SCD populations. Further research is needed across a wider SCD population to forward the findings of this qualitative study

Year2016
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Journal citation21 (1), pp. 190-203
PublisherBritish Psychological Society
ISSN1359-107X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12157
Publication dates
PrintFeb 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Jan 2016
Accepted2015
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/87q04/how-sickle-cell-disease-patients-experience-understand-and-explain-their-pain-an-interpretative-phenomenological-analysis-study

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