Pain Assessment as a Tool in Back-to-Work Rehabilitation


The purpose of this study was to elucidate participant experiences with a way to use pain assessment as a tool in vocational rehabilitation and see if the process is perceived to be important for the rehabilitation process in a four-week lasting rehabilitation back to work program for people with chronic pain, mental illness and fatigue symptoms. Design: A qualitative study. Purposeful typical case sampling. Semi-structured qualitative interviews with rehabilitation back to work participants were thematic content analyzed. Setting: Interviews at the end of the 4th week of rehabilitation took place at a Rehabilitation Center in Central Norway. Subjects: Six women and four men aged 23 to 57 years, suffering from chronic pain and mild mental illness symptoms. Main outcome measure: This paper describes the participants’ experiences with pain mapping in back-to-work rehabilitation, used as a tool in a rehabilitation model for people suffering from chronic pain and mild mental illness. Results: The main topic was “empowered to insights”. The results illustrate a process where mapping tools were experienced relevant in the process of growing discovery of pain and ways of pain management. Pain assessment as a joint aid for both themselves and the staff provided a clearer pain understanding. Conclusion: Mapping as own activity, and cooperation with supportive personnel showing respect for patients’ own experiences, may promote empowerment, and further motivate own efforts and progress of the rehabilitation process.

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Moe, A. , Evensen, A. , Torvik, K. and V. Brataas, H. (2015) Pain Assessment as a Tool in Back-to-Work Rehabilitation. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 828-835. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.59087.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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