Normalizing suffering: A meta-synthesis of experiences of and perspectives on pain and pain management in nursing homes

Mojtaba Vaismoradi, Lisa Skär, Siv Söderberg, Terese E. Bondas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Older people who live in nursing homes commonly suffer from pain. Therefore, relieving suffering among older people that stems from pain demands knowledge improvement through an integration of international knowledge. This study aimed to integrate current international findings and strengthen the understanding of older people's experiences of and perspectives on pain and pain management in nursing homes. A meta-synthesis study using Noblit and Hare's interpretative metaethnography approach was conducted. Empirical research papers from journals were collected from various databases. The search process and appraisal determined six articles for inclusion. Two studies were conducted in the US and one each in Iceland, Norway, the UK, and Australia. The older people's experiences of pain as well as perspectives on pain management from all involved (older people, their family members, and healthcare staff) were integrated into a theoretical model using three themes of "identity of pain," "recognition of pain," and "response to pain." The metaphor of "normalizing suffering" was devised to illustrate the meaning of pain experiences and pain management in nursing homes. Society's common attitude that pain is unavoidable and therefore acceptable in old age in society-among older people themselves as well as those who are responsible for reporting, acknowledging, and relieving pain-must change. The article emphasizes that pain as a primary source of suffering can be relieved, provided that older people are encouraged to report their pain. In addition, healthcare staff require sufficient training to take a person-centered approach towards assessment and management of pain that considers all elements of pain.
Original languageEnglish
Article number31203
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2016

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Normalizing suffering: A meta-synthesis of experiences of and perspectives on pain and pain management in nursing homes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this