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Making sense of aches and pains

Calnan, Michael .W., Wainwright, David, O'Neill, Claire, Winterbottom, Anna, Watkins, Christopher S. (2005) Making sense of aches and pains. Family Practice, 23 (1). pp. 91-105. ISSN 0263-2136. (doi:10.1093/fampra/cmi077) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:3607)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
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Background. The uncertainty about the status of upper limb disorders (ULDs), particularly the non-specific conditions, is believed to have consequences for clinical management and patient care.

Objective. This paper presents evidence about how sufferers with ULDs respond to their pain, how their pain is managed, when and who they go to for formal help and how sufferers evaluate the care they receive.

Methods. The data analysis is derived from face-to-face, informal interviews with sufferers with a broad spectrum of upper limb disorders (n = 47). These informants were selected according to strict criteria from a 'screening' postal survey of the working population (25-64 years) in south-west England (n = 2781).

Results. Ideas about causation were crucial to understanding patterns of illness action and help seeking behaviour. The common strategy was to wait and see what happens as the pain was believed to be a natural part of the ageing process. Explanations invoking psychosocial and work related causes were less common and tended to be used when biomechanical explanations were no longer appropriate. Self-management was the preferred strategy but orthodox practitioners were usually the first choice for formal care. Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) were popular but were used to complement orthodox care. Practitioners were evaluated mainly in terms of their ability to alleviate pain.

Conclusion. There is a need for orthodox and non-orthodox care to be closely integrated in primary care and GPs should not depend on orthodox medications alone when caring for patients with upper limb pain.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/fampra/cmi077
Uncontrolled keywords: Health service use; illness behaviour; lay beliefs; upper limb disorders
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Paula Loader
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2008 17:51 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:42 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Calnan, Michael .W..

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Wainwright, David.

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