01.03.2004 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2004
The osteoporotic pain experience
- Annesofie L. Jensen, Ingegerd Harder
Osteoporosis, a disease characterized by skeletal fragility, represents a major health problem, especially for postmenopausal women. This project is a pilot study exploring the female osteoporotic patient's understanding of her individual pain condition and investigating the potential of a structured nursing program, called the Osteoporotic Pain Program (OPP), to increase the patient's insight, skills and motivation to self help, and possibly reduce pain. Findings in other studies and the expertise of experienced clinical nurses formed the basis for the OPP, which consists of three elements: conversations between nurse and patient, pain curves, and body charts. Qualitative interviews, using a semi-structured guide, were conducted to explore the meaning of the program as seen from the perspective of the patients. Participating in the OPP proved meaningful to patients in two major ways, actively exploring one's pain and feeling empowered. The analysis lead to forming a main category, "Exploring the chronic pain situation", and five subcategories were identified: expressing one's pain, understanding one's pain, justifying one's pain, accepting medication, and entering a ready-to-act mode. Findings indicate that the OPP contributes to challenging the patients. Their self-efficacy increases, their actions change, and pain intensity appears to decrease.