THE EXPERIENCE OF LIVING WITH PATELLOFEMORAL PAIN – LOSS, CONFUSION AND FEAR-AVOIDANCE: A UK QUALITATIVE STUDY

Review written by Dr Sandy Hilton info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is pain felt behind the patella or a diffuse peripatellar pain that is made worse by activities that load the knee (i.e. climbing stairs, ballistic movements, squats). Recent data shows only 1/3 of people with PFP are pain-free 1 year after diagnosis. This study aimed at giving a detailed account of the lived experience of the people dealing with pain associated with PFP who are seeking secondary care in the UK. The authors suggest that fear-avoidance and catastrophizing associated with PFP lead to physiological responses that result in persistent pain.

METHODS

The study design was a “qualitative interpretive description” using a thematic analysis conducted through a multi-staged interview and interpretation process. A convenience sample of 10 people (ages 26 – 37 years) diagnosed with PFP for a mean duration of 78 months (3 months to 16 years) were recruited from the National Health Service (NHS) physiotherapy waiting list. The study was conducted in live interviews. The same researcher conducted all the interviews. The interviewer kept a reflective journal (notes written after the interview) and recorded each interview. Audio files were transcribed and checked for accuracy with additional notes recorded in reflective journals by 2 researchers. The information was coded independently and then compared to achieve the generated themes.

RESULTS

5 themes were developed from the data:

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