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Adaptation to a changed body. Experiences of living with long-term pelvic girdle pain after childbirth.

Journal article
Authors Annelie Gutke
Jennifer Bullington
Madeleine Lund
Mari Lundberg
Published in Disability and rehabilitation
Volume 40
Issue 25
Pages 3054 – 3060
ISSN 1464-5165
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Pages 3054 – 3060
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2017.13...
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...
Subject categories Physiotherapy

Abstract

To explore how women experience living with long-term pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain.Nine women with persistent pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain of 2-13 years were recruited by means of purposive sampling from long-term follow-up studies. The women were 28-42 years of age and had given birth to 2-3 children. Audio-taped in-depth interview with open-ended questions were used with the guiding question 'How do you experience living with pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain?'. The Empirical Phenomenological Psychological method was chosen for analysis.The pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain syndrome has a profound impact on everyday life for many years after pregnancy. Three constituents were identified as central to the experience of living with pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain: (1) the importance of the body for identity, (2) the understanding of pain, and (3) stages of change. The manner in which the women experienced their pain was interpreted in terms of two typologies: the ongoing struggle against the pain, and adaptation and acceptance.The participants' narratives highlighted that the pain led to severe functional limitations that threatened their capability to perform meaningful daily activities, and interfered with their sense of identity. It appears essential to meet with each patient individually and to manage long-term pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain as a pain syndrome. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Chronic pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain • Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain impairs women's capacity to perform meaningful activities of daily life for many years after pregnancy. • The participants' narratives highlighted that the pain interfered with their sense of identity. • It appears essential to meet with each patient individually and to manage long-term pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain as a pain syndrome.

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