The Management of Chronic Back Pain in Primary Care Settings: Exploring Perceived Facilitators and Barriers to the Development of Patient–Professional Partnerships

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Supporting patients in forming partnerships with health professionals is the key of effective self-management. This study aimed to explore the nature of patient–professional partnerships and its related factors that create facilitators and barriers to patients’ self-management ability. A constructivist grounded theory approach was undertaken. Three main themes emerged: interaction and communication, integrated care, and service and system. A theoretical model was generated that posits effective communication, individualized integrated care, and high-quality service as key influences on the successful development of patient–professional partnerships and patients’ ability to self-manage. Giving attention to these factors helps understand the development, implementation, mechanisms, and evaluation of building a patient–professional partnership and maximizes the opportunities for patient self-management of chronic pain. Future research and practice are needed to move beyond a simplistic focus on health outcomes to address the complex links between partnerships and treatment delivery processes, and interventions, effects, and patients’ context.

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