Pain management experiences and pain coping styles among people with sickle cell disease (SCD)

J. Elander, J. Lusher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To examine relationships between hospital experiences of pain management and personal pain coping styles. Most painful episodes in SCD are managed at home with oral analgesics, but some are treated in hospital with parenteral opiates. At home, patients play an active role in their pain management, and cognitive-behavioural strategies are associated with better pain outcomes. In hospital, patients report mistrust, stigmatisation, excessive control and neglect by medical staff, and interpersonal factors play an important role in quality of pain management. A possible explanation for the difficulties patients’ experience in hospital is that staff misconstrue active pain coping styles as problem or drug-seeking behaviours.

Semi-structured interviews and self-complete measures of pain management experiences in hospital, patterns of analgesic use at home, impact of painful episodes on family life, education and work, cognitive-behavioural strategies for coping with pain, and beliefs about pain control.

We report: (1) Frequency of negative experiences in hospital involving behaviour that could be construed as problem or drug-seeking behaviour; (2) Frequency of patterns of analgesic use at home that could be construed as problem drug use; and (3) Relationships between hospital experiences, patterns of analgesic use at home, personal pain coping styles, beliefs about pain control, and impact of painful episodes on patients’ lives.

The results indicate ways in which the understanding of staff and patient-staff communication about pain and analgesia use could be improved to promote more effective pain management for SCD in hospital.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-53
Number of pages1
JournalProceedings of The British Psychological Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes
EventThe British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference 2000 - University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Sep 20008 Sep 2000


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