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‘I am free in my wheelchair but pain does have a say in it though’: The meaning and experience of quality of life when living with paraplegia and chronic pain

Hughes, Melanie and Burton, Amy E and Dempsey, Robert C (2017) ‘I am free in my wheelchair but pain does have a say in it though’: The meaning and experience of quality of life when living with paraplegia and chronic pain. Journal of Health Psychology, 24 (10). pp. 1356-1367. ISSN 1359-1053

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Abstract

This study investigated how wheelchair-using individuals with paraplegia and chronic pain make sense of the factors associated with quality of life based on interviews using photo-elicitation and interpretative phenomenological analysis. Three superordinate themes emerged in the analysis: experiencing quality of life through the perception of self and identity, interpersonal relationships as facilitators and barriers to quality of life and life in a wheelchair: pain experience and management. Quality of life for those living with paraplegia and chronic pain is experienced as a complex interaction across several life domains. The use of photographs may improve the communication of pain-related experiences and understanding by healthcare staff.

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