Living well with chronic pain

Joanne Sheedy, Louise Anne McLean, Kate Erin Jacobs, Lou Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to explore factors associated with resilience in chronic pain. Methods: A sequential mixed methods design was used. Six individuals reporting low levels of psychological distress on the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and low levels of pain-related disability on the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire were interviewed about their experiences of living with chronic pain. Participants were recruited from a general medical practice in Victoria, Australia and were interviewed between May and September 2013. Potential participants were identified by treating health professionals as individuals who appeared to be coping well with chronic pain. Results: Factors associated with resilience in chronic pain included social support, confidence for physical activity, optimism and positive thinking. Caring for others was also identified as a novel protective factor. Values driven behaviour may have motivated some participants to optimise their pain management via active coping approaches. Conclusions and implications for practice: This study highlights protective factors that may contribute to resilience in chronic pain. Improved understanding of such factors may help with development of interventions to promote better adjustment to chronic pain conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Mental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Resilience
  • chronic
  • pain
  • coping
  • primary
  • Care

Cite this