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Title: A qualitative exploration of the role of identity in older people's experiencing chronic pain
Author: Senthinathan, Sangeetha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 0323
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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Existing research has emphasised the risks to identity as a consequence of chronic pain. However, this line of enquiry has rarely included older people. Therefore, the current thesis aimed to explore qualitatively the role of identity in older people experiencing chronic pain. Correspondingly, the narrative review contained in this thesis elucidates the significance of identity development to later life through the lens of Erikson's theory of development (1980; 1986). It is argued that the framework offered by this theory addresses the limitations of current models of positive aging and places identity development at the heart of these discussions. The research paper that follows describes an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the experiences of seven women aged over 65 with chronic pain. Four interconnected yet distinct themes relating to identity are reported: Adjusting to the disrupted self, the familiar self, self and others, and getting the right amount of help. A number of commonalities with the extant literature as well as connected identity issues related to aging indicated some potential barriers to pain management and optimal adjustment to pain for older people. It is concluded that identity is a relevant and important concept to those experiencing chronic pain at any age and lifespan identity issues need to be considered concurrently. The critical review that follows considers the strengths and limitations of the research paper through reflections on the interview process, the analytical method and process, and ethical dilemmas that arose during the course of the study. Subsequently, some considerations for future research practice are discussed. It is concluded that despite some limitations to the study, this paper underscores some important themes of relevance to older people's adjustment to chronic pain.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available