Content » Vol 45, Issue 6

Original report

Being in an exchange process: Experiences of patient participation in multimodal pain rehabilitation

Catharina Nordin, Gunvor Gard, Anncristine Fjellman-Wiklund
Dept. of Health Science, Luleå University of Technology, 97187 Luleå, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1136


Objective: To explore primary healthcare patients’ experiences of patients participation in multimodal pain rehabilitation.
Patients and methods: A total of 17 patients who had completed multimodal rehabilitation for persistent pain were interviewed. The interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis.
Results: One theme, Being in an exchange process, and 4 categories emerged. The theme depicted patient participation as a continuous exchange of emotions, thoughts and knowledge. The category Fruitful encounters represented the basic prerequisites for patient participation through dialogue and platforms to meet. Patients’ emotional and cognitive resources and restrictions, as well as knowledge gaps, were conditions influencing patient participation in the category Inequality in co-operation. Mutual trust and respect were crucial conditions in patient’s personal relationships with the health professionals, forming the category Confidence-inspiring alliance. In the category Competent health professionals, the health professionals’ expertise, empathy and personal qualities, were emphasized to favour patient participation.
Conclusion: Patient participation can be understood as complex and individualized. A confidence-inspiring alliance enables a trusting relationship to be formed between patients and health professionals. Patients emphasized that health professionals need to play an active role in building common ground in the interaction. Understanding each patient’s needs in the participation process may favour patient participation.

Lay Abstract


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