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The fearfulness of chronic pain and the centrality of the therapeutic relationship in containing it: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Smith, Jonathan A. and Osborn, M. (2008) The fearfulness of chronic pain and the centrality of the therapeutic relationship in containing it: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Qualitative Research in Psychology 5 (4), pp. 276-288. ISSN 1478-0887.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14780880701826143

Abstract

This paper presents an in-depth, idiographic study of the experience of chronic benign pain sufferers going through a simple hypnotic pain management relaxation exercise. The objective of this study was not to evaluate the efficacy of the intervention but to explore the participant's experience of any change that might occur. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients before and after the exercise and the resultant transcripts subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis. Two themes emerged in the analysis and are discussed here: “The fearfulness of pain” and “The containment of fear through a social connection.” The participants' conceptions of their chronic pain did not change but their beliefs and feelings about themselves did. Through an alliance with the therapist, the participants described how they felt better able to contain the fear they felt toward their pain and were less disabled as a result. The importance or relevance of the relationship between patients and staff in chronic pain management and the social context of the fear of pain is discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): attention, chronic pain, fear, interpretative phenomenological analysis, qualitative, therapeutic alliance
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2010 11:19
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2585

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