Content » Vol 36, Issue 3

From shame to respect: musculoskeletal pain patients' experience of a rehabilitation programme, a qualitative study

Monika Gustafsson A1, Jan Ekholm A1, Ann Öhman A2
A1 Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Rehabilitation Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
A2 Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation/Epidemiology and Public Health Sciences, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

DOI: 10.1080/16501970310018314


Objective : This study aimed to describe and analyse how participants with fibromyalgia or chronic, widespread, musculoskeletal pain, 1 year after completion, experienced a rehabilitation programme; and what knowledge and strategies they had gained. Design, methods and subjects : Semi-structured interviews with 16 female patients were analysed using the grounded theory method of constant comparison. Results: One core category, from shame to respect, and 4 categories, developing body awareness/knowledge, setting limits, changing self-image and negative counterbalancing factors, and hopelessness and frustration over one's employment situation emerged from the data. The core category represents a process where the informants changed emotionally. Three categories were identified as important for starting and maintaining the process, one category affected the process negatively. Conclusion: The rehabilitation programme started the process of change, from shame to respect. The informants learned new strategies for handling their pain and other symptoms; they improved their self-image and communication in their social environment.

Lay Abstract


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