Content » Vol 47, Issue 3

Original report

”Change is possible”: Patients’ experience of a multimodal chronic pain rehabilitation programme

Andrea Hållstam, Britt Marie Stålnacke, Christer Svensen, Monika Löfgren
Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, SE-11883 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1926


Objective: To explore patients’ experiences of activity, participation and quality of life one year after a rehabilitation programme for chronic pain, and to determine the impact of the programme on their current life situation.
Design: Qualitative study with emergent design.
Subjects and methods: The 14 informants were patients with chronic pain who had participated in rehabilitation at a pain clinic. Individual semi-structured interviews were analysed with inductive, qualitative content analysis.
Results: The core theme “Change is possible” and the themes “A life ruled by pain” (the situation before rehabilitation), “The penny’s dropped” (experience during rehabilitation) and “Live a life, not only survive” (the situation at the time of the interviews) emerged from the data. These themes represent a process through which, during and after rehabilitation, the informants integrated earlier disabling symptoms into a functioning lifestyle.
Conclusion: Individuals living with disabling chronic pain can create a better life by integrating their illness. A prerequisite is that healthcare professionals empower patients to develop the strength to take responsibility for their daily lives. This process is facilitated by skills to reduce pain and handle life, plus support from significant others.

Lay Abstract


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