Understanding how patients' pain beliefs influence chronic low back pain management in Ghana: a grounded theory approach.

Journal article


Ampiah, J., Moffatt, F., Diver, C. and Ampiah, P.K. (2022). Understanding how patients' pain beliefs influence chronic low back pain management in Ghana: a grounded theory approach. BMJ Open. 12 (12), p. e061062. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2022-061062
AuthorsAmpiah, J., Moffatt, F., Diver, C. and Ampiah, P.K.
AbstractChronic low back pain (CLBP) is associated with negative consequences in high and low/middle-income countries. Pain beliefs are important psychosocial factors that affect the occurrence and progression of CLBP and may be influenced by the sociocultural context and interactions with healthcare professionals (HCPs). The pain beliefs of Ghanaian patients with CLBP are unknown and the factors influencing pain beliefs in African contexts are unclear. To explore the pain beliefs of Ghanaian patients with CLBP, how they influence CLBP management/coping and to identify the mechanisms influencing them. Qualitative study using individual semistructured face-to-face interviews, situated within Straussian grounded theory principles and critical realist philosophy. Thirty patients with CLBP accessing physiotherapy at two teaching hospitals in Ghana. Participants suggested dominant biomedical/mechanical beliefs (related to CLBP causes, posture and activity, and the belief of an endpoint/cure for CLBP). Maladaptive beliefs and practices, in particular fear-avoidance beliefs, and dependence on passive management and coping, were common among participants. These beliefs and practices were mostly influenced by HCPs and sociocultural expectations/norms. Although spirituality, pacing activity and prescribed exercises were commonly mentioned by participants, other active strategies and positive beliefs were expressed by a few participants and influenced by patients' themselves. Limited physiotherapy involvement, knowledge and awareness were also reported by participants, and this appeared to be influenced by the limited physiotherapy visibility in Ghana. Participants' narratives suggested the dominant influence of HCPs and the sociocultural environment on their biomedical/mechanical beliefs. These facilitated maladaptive beliefs and adoption of passive coping and management practices. Therefore, incorporation of more positive beliefs and holistic/active strategies by Ghanaian patients and HCPs may be beneficial. Furthermore, patient empowerment and health literacy opportunities to address unhelpful CLBP/sociocultural beliefs and equip patients with management options for CLBP could be beneficial. [Abstract copyright: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.]
Keywordspain management; Low Back Pain - epidemiology; Grounded Theory; Chronic Pain - therapy; back pain; qualitative research; Pain Management; Adaptation, Psychological; Humans; Ghana
Year2022
JournalBMJ Open
Journal citation12 (12), p. e061062
PublisherBMJ
ISSN2044-6055
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2022-061062
https://doi.org/bmjopen-2022-061062
Publication dates
Online29 Dec 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Jan 2023
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Open
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