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New approaches towards chronic pain: patient experiences of a solution-focused pain management programme

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Pain
Issue number1
Volume8
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)34-42
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Research has suggested that Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) may be effective in facilitating meaningful change for those living with chronic pain. This study aimed to further this understanding through exploring the experiences of people living with chronic pain, who had attended an 8-week solution-focused pain management programme. The design of this study was conducted in consultation with a service-user advisory group, and employed a qualitative and interpretative design rooted in critical community psychology, participatory research frameworks and emancipatory disability research. Five participants opted-in to the study following an opportunity sampling method of persons who had attended a programme in the last 18 months. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Five main themes were identified: ‘Accessing the pain management programme’, ‘A solution-focused group’, ‘The solution-focused clinician’, ‘Solutions and changes’ and ‘Challenges and improvements’. Clinical and research implications of the findings are discussed.

Summary points
There has been an international proliferation of pain management programmes (PMPs) aimed at helping those with chronic pain to live well, despite an unremitting condition.

Arguably, the most popular psychological approaches used within PMPs are informed by cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Despite a supportive evidence base for psychological approaches in pain management, there is a recognised need for further research into alternative approaches and their effectiveness.

Emerging research and policy recommendations are beginning to value the expertise of those living with chronic conditions, particularly how these perspectives can be used to develop effective treatments and services.

SFBT is an approach aimed at achieving a patient’s goals or ‘preferred future’ through identifying and utilising their expertise. SFBT may have significant efficacy in helping those with chronic conditions to live improved, meaningful lives.