Paula Banbury, Kate Feenan, Nick Allcock
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 17, Iss. 19, 23 Oct 2008, pp 1215 - 1218
Back pain affects a large proportion of the population. It can impact on an individual’s ability to function and on their quality of life, and can also incur significant economic, NHS and personal costs. The approach to the treatment of back pain has undergone significant changes in the past 10 years. Current guidelines emphasize the importance of maintaining activity and support the role of analgesics in facilitating active rehabilitation. There is evidence that many patients with chronic conditions do not use medication in the way they were prescribed. Fears associated with analgesics may compound this in those experiencing pain. There is limited research into the attitudes and experiences of sufferers of low back pain who have been prescribed analgesics. This qualitative study explored, through interviews, the attitudes to analgesic use of 16 patients referred to a community-based back pain programme. A thematic analysis was conducted and identified five key themes. The findings suggest that patients are generally confused about the value of complying with their analgesic regime as healthcare professionals do not give them sufficient explanation when the prescriptions are issued.