Understanding the Information and Service Needs of Young Adults With Chronic Pain
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OBJECTIVE: To qualitatively explore the information and service needs of young adults (YAs) with chronic pain to inform the development of a web-based chronic pain self-management program. METHODS: A convenience sample of YAs (n=17; aged 18 to 29 y) with chronic pain was recruited from 2 adult tertiary care multidisciplinary chronic pain clinics in Ontario. Interdisciplinary health care professionals who had worked in chronic pain for at least 1 year were also recruited from these sites. Five audiotaped focus groups were conducted, 3 for YAs and 2 for health care professionals. Transcribed data were organized into categories that reflected emerging themes. RESULTS: Findings uncovered 4 major themes: (1) pain impact, (2) pain management strategies, (3) barriers to care, and (4) service delivery recommendations. Subthemes were found under each major theme. Pain had an impact on social and emotional realms and role functioning, physical functioning, and future vocational and life goals. Pain management strategies were comprised of psychological, physical, and pharmacological approaches and development of support systems. Barriers to care were revealed at the patient, health care system, and societal levels. Finally, service delivery recommendations were divided into 2 subthemes pertaining to improved services and Internet-based programs. DISCUSSION: Participants unanimously felt that a web-based program would be an acceptable means to help improve access to services and meet the need for more information about chronic pain, strategies to manage pain symptoms, and social support to address the unique developmental needs of YAs.
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