Abstract: From shame to respect: musculoskeletal pain patients’ experience of a rehabilitation programme, a qualitative study

J Rehabil Med. 2004 May;36(3):97-103. Gustafsson M, Ekholm J, Ohman A. Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Rehabilitation Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. monika.gustafsson@ks.se

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to describe and analyse how participants with fibromyalgia or chronic, widespread, musculoskeletal pain, 1 year after completion, experienced a rehabilitation programme; and what knowledge and strategies they had gained.

DESIGN, METHODS AND SUBJECTS: Semi-structured interviews with 16 female patients were analysed using the grounded theory method of constant comparison.

RESULTS: One core category, from shame to respect, and 4 categories, developing body awareness/knowledge, setting limits, changing self-image and negative counterbalancing factors, and hopelessness and frustration over one's employment situation emerged from the data. The core category represents a process where the informants changed emotionally. Three categories were identified as important for starting and maintaining the process, one category affected the process negatively.

CONCLUSION: The rehabilitation programme started the process of change, from shame to respect. The informants learned new strategies for handling their pain and other symptoms; they improved their self-image and communication in their social environment. PMID: 15209451 [PubMed – in process]

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