What Are the Barriers and Facilitators for the Self-Management of Chronic Pain with and without Neuropathic Characteristics?

Authors: Mann EG, Harrison MB, LeFort S, VanDenKerkhof EG


Pain Manag Nurs. 2017 Jun 08;:

Chronic pain requires affected individuals to self-manage their health. This study compared barriers and facilitators of self-management in two groups of people with chronic pain: those with and without neuropathic characteristics. A cross-sectional survey study of community-dwelling Canadians was conducted. The sample (n = 710) included randomly selected participants who reported chronic pain. The Self-Report Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs was used to screen for neuropathic characteristics. Barriers and facilitators of self-management included self-efficacy (Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire 9), social support and relationship with health care provider (Chronic Illness Resources Survey), and pain intensity (numeric rating scale). Participants were asked which factors they felt made pain management easier or harder. Statistical analyses included frequency, percent, relative risk (RR), and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Self-confidence to manage pain was the most commonly perceived self-management barrier/facilitator by both groups; however, participants with neuropathic characteristics (n = 188) were more likely to report low self-efficacy than those without neuropathic characteristics (n = 522) (RR = 2.1, CI = 1.62-2.72, ref = high self-efficacy). Participants with neuropathic characteristics were also more likely to screen positive for depression (RR = 2.30, CI = 1.73-3.06, ref = no/mild depression). There were no group differences in social support and relationship with health professional, but 40.8% felt they were not involved as equal partners in decision making and goal setting related to their care. Health professionals should consider collaborative decision making when seeking to support self-management abilities. Addressing low self-efficacy and depression may be especially important for supporting self-management by individuals with neuropathic characteristics.



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