Challenges, Concerns, and Experiences of Community-Dwelling Older Women with Chronic Low Back Pain—A Qualitative Study in Hong Kong, China

Tiffany H.T. Wong, Kaden S.K. Lee, Sharon M.C. Lo, Mandy M.P. Kan, Crystal Kwan, Emmanuelle Opsommer, Shahnawaz Anwer, Heng Li, Arnold Y.L. Wong (Corresponding Author), Veronika Schoeb

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Although chronic low back pain (CLBP) is known to negatively affect multiple aspects of the lives of older people, prior qualitative studies mainly focused on the lived experiences of older people with CLBP in Western countries. Given cultural and contextual differences and poor understanding of CLBP in older women with CLBP, it is important to better understand the concerns and lived experiences of Chinese older women with CLBP. The current study aimed to investigate the experiences, challenges, concerns, and coping strategies of older women with CLBP in Hong Kong. Research Design and Methods: A total of 15 community-dwelling older women with CLBP aged ≥60 years were recruited from a physiotherapy clinic or a community center for semi-structured interviews. The interviews were audio recorded and transcribed ‘verbatim’. The transcription was imported to NVivo 12 software. Thematic analysis was conducted using Braun and Clarke’s method. Results: Five themes were identified: (1) physical impacts of CLBP on daily life; (2) psychological influences of CLBP; (3) management of CLBP; (4) family support; and (5) social activities and support. Discussion and implications: Negative physical and psychosocial impacts of CLBP were common among older women, and they adopted diverse pain management strategies, although some of their treatment options were influenced by the Chinese culture. Misbeliefs and responses of family and friends also affected their management strategies. Elderly community centers are a significant source of social support for older women with CLBP, making it an ideal platform for establishing self-help groups to facilitate their self-management of CLBP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number945
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • chronic low back pain
  • coping strategies
  • older people
  • thematic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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