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Exploring the experiences of partners who live with a chronic low back pain sufferer

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a condition that causes individuals considerable distress. It also presents a significant challenge to the health service and is often viewed by clinicians as frustrating to manage. The purpose of the present paper is to explore the experiences of individuals in the immediate social sphere of those suffering from CLBP and their role in care-giving for their partner. An approach was taken using two qualitative research methods to gather data: journals and focus groups. Findings from the journals and the focus groups revealed issues for partners of CLBP sufferers in relation to living with their partners’ pain, perceptions of healthcare and the dominance of illness over social contacts. Key themes revealed the complex emotions experienced by respondents, and underlined the need for their role as care givers and partners to be acknowledged by healthcare professionals. The data also highlighted respondents’ desire to have greater involvement in their partners’ healthcare, which includes provision of relevant information and involvement with therapeutic interventions. The findings emphasise the need for healthcare professionals to include and acknowledge partners and others in the immediate social sphere of patients in the management of chronic conditions.

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Health and Social Care in the Community

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Social care online
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