Qualitative insights into the experience of pain in older Australian women with arthritis

Katie de Luca, Lynne Parkinson*, Sharyn Hunter, Julie Ellen Byles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To explore qualitative insights into the pain experience of older women with quantitatively derived pain profiles. Methods: The sequential mixed methods design involved applying quantitative pain profiles, derived from an earlier latent class analysis, to qualitative comments by a sample of older Australian women with arthritis. Data from a substudy of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, mid-aged cohort, born 1946–1951, were used. Inductive content analysis was conducted to explore qualitative insights into the experience of pain. Results: The average age of women was 64.6 years (±1.4). Within each derived pain profile, themes generated from the qualitative comments of women were concordant with the profile descriptors: ‘I manage my pain’ for the uni-dimensional, mild pain profile (comments from 56 women); ‘I live with pain every day’ and ‘I rely on medication regularly’ for the moderate multidimensional pain profile (comments from 39 women); and ‘multiple pains’, ‘I suffer with pain’ and ‘I am unable and adjust’ for the severe multidimensional pain profile (comments from 31 women). Conclusion: Women with different pain profiles used different language and strategies in managing their pain experience, information which can guide clinicians to provide more tailored support for self-management and care of arthritis pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-216
Number of pages7
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • arthritis
  • pain
  • qualitative research
  • women's health


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