AbstractThe magnitude of reciprocity in chronic pain management: experiences of dispersed ethnic populations of Muslim women
Dispersed ethnic populations believe their health to be worse than the ethnic majority group in Sweden. Most studies in rehabilitation exclude dispersed ethnic populations who can not read or speak the national language although this group seems to be in need of rehabilitation to a larger extent than privileged majority groups. The aim of the study was to examine the experience of living with musculoskeletal pain and experience of health care among dispersed ethnic populations of Muslim women. The method used was inspired by Grounded Theory in this study. Interviews were made with five first-generation Muslim immigrant women who had come to Sweden via Iraq as refugees. Two interviews were performed with interpreters. A preliminary core category ‘The magnitude of reciprocity’ based on three categories emerged from the analysis: (1) Impact of pain, (2) Managing pain and (3) Facing health care. Chronic pain limited the informants physically and emotionally, as well as impacting on their everyday life. Informants managed their pain primarily through medicine and physical activity, which gave at least temporary relief. Health care providers were perceived as doing their best but experiences of bad meetings were also witnessed. The factors important in achieving a good meeting in this study appeared to be; time, dialogue, honesty and understanding. Communication skills, feelings of being taken seriously and a sense of security were additional factors. Not being properly examined, or offered optimal treatment, not being believed or understood, were all seen as signs of dismissal within health care. The limitations of this study are primarily concerned with language difficulties resulting in various shortcomings. Reciprocal recognition and support connected to the specific life experiences of women that come with forced resettlement from the Muslim world to the European diaspora is a vital part of a holistic approach to pain management.