The role of pain in pulmonary rehabilitation: A qualitative study

Samantha L. Harrison, Annemarie L. Lee, Helene L. Elliott-Button, Rebecca Shea, Roger S. Goldstein, Dina Brooks, Cormac G. Ryan, Denis J. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: One third of individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) report pain. To help inform a COPD-specific pain intervention, we explored the views of health care providers (HCPs) and individuals with COPD on pain during pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Methods: This is a qualitative study using inductive thematic analysis. Eighteen HCPs familiar with PR and 19 patients enrolled in PR participated in semi-structured interviews. Demographic data were recorded, and the patients completed the Brief Pain Inventory (Short Form). Results: 1) Interaction between pain and COPD: pain is a common experience in COPD, heightened by breathlessness and anxiety. 2) Pain interfering with PR: a) Communicating pain: HCPs rarely ask about pain and patients are reluctant to report it for fear of being removed from PR. b) PR is a short-term aggravator but long-term reliever: although pain limits exercise, concentration, and program adherence, PR may reduce pain by increasing muscle strength and improving coping. c) Advice and strategies for pain: some attention is given to pain management but this is often counterproductive, encouraging patients to cease exercise. 3) An intervention to manage pain: HCPs were enthusiastic about delivering a pain intervention within their knowledge and time constraints. Early group education was preferred. Conclusion: A pain intervention seems warranted in PR and may improve adherence and therefore clinical benefit. A pain intervention could be provided as part of PR education with HCP training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3289-3299
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COPD
  • Education
  • Health care professions
  • Pain
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Qualitative

Cite this

Harrison, S. L., Lee, A. L., Elliott-Button, H. L., Shea, R., Goldstein, R. S., Brooks, D., Ryan, C. G., & Martin, D. J. (2017). The role of pain in pulmonary rehabilitation: A qualitative study. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 12, 3289-3299. https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S145442