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Suffering in silence: a qualitative study of older adults’ experiences of living with long-term musculoskeletal pain at home
University of Skövde, School of Health Sciences. University of Skövde, Digital Health Research (DHEAR). College of Nursing, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, United States. (Välbefinnande vid långvariga hälsoproblem (WeLHP), Wellbeing in long-term health problems)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3970-1288
Academy of Care, Working Life and Social Welfare, University of Borås, Sweden.
University of Skövde, Digital Health Research (DHEAR). University of Skövde, School of Health Sciences. (Välbefinnande vid långvariga hälsoproblem (WeLHP), Wellbeing in long-term health problems)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2671-1041
2020 (English)In: European Journal of Ageing, ISSN 1613-9372, E-ISSN 1613-9380Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Long-term musculoskeletal pain is a major, disabling, and often undertreated health problem among the increasing number of older adults worldwide. However, there is limited knowledge of community-dwelling older adults’ experiences of living with this type of pain. The aim of the study was to deepen the understanding of the phenomenon: how older adults experience living with long-term musculoskeletal pain at home. The study design was an inductive qualitative Reflective Lifeworld Research approach grounded in phenomenological epistemology. Data were obtained from 20 community-dwelling older adults, aged 72–97 years. Data were collected through open-ended interviews and analyzed to understand the meanings of the phenomenon. The essence of the phenomenon entailed suffering in silence and encompassed the following constituents: loneliness and restrictions in daily living; ways to endure and distract from pain; not being taken seriously; fear of the future; and valuing joy and meaning in life. Living with long-term musculoskeletal pain restricts access to the world and leads to a suffering in silence. Finding ways to endure and distract from pain and to focus on issues that give joy and meaning in life is predominant in efforts to balance restraints from pain in life. Suffering is reinforced by loneliness, a sense of not being taken seriously by health care providers and fear of an uncertain future. It is necessary to foster increased attentiveness and sensitivity in meeting the needs of each older adult and provide a care that alleviates suffering and preserves and promotes health and well-being. © 2020, The Author(s).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2020.
Keywords [en]
Endurance of pain, Home, Loneliness, Meaning in life, Nursing, Qualitative interviews
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Wellbeing in long-term health problems (WeLHP)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-18431DOI: 10.1007/s10433-020-00566-7Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85083768928OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-18431DiVA, id: diva2:1428971
Available from: 2020-05-07 Created: 2020-05-07 Last updated: 2020-05-08Bibliographically approved

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Gillsjö, CatharinaBerglund, Mia

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1415161718192017 of 22
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