The objective of this qualitative study was to explore patientsâ€™ opinions of back pain and its management. Thirty-four patients who had received physiotherapy for back pain in the previous year participated in semi-structured interviews. A topic guide was used to steer the interview and the interviews were transcribed and analysed using framework analysis to extract themes from the data. The authors identified thirteen key themes; seven of these related to issues of satisfaction with physiotherapy and have been published previously. The six themes considered in this paper dealt with the participants' experience of and attitudes to back pain and its management. Themes were: the impact of back pain on their life; perspectives about back pain; its management; their involvement in its management; what strategies they had for self-management; and expectations about the episode of physiotherapy beforehand. The authors concluded that among the group of participants recruited with a history of back pain and physiotherapy treatment there was a degree of acceptance of the back pain problem and the belief that patient involvement in management was essential. The authors suggest that many patients with back pain may respond positively to the message of self-management, but that acceptance of this message was not automatic, but generally occurred gradually in line with patients' experience of back pain and treatment.
Physiother Research International, 2007, 12(3), 126-135.