Purpose: To explore barriers to pain management experienced by older adults with arthritis, identify themes, and develop a theoretical model of relationships among the themes.
Design and methods: Focus groups were used to collect data with 57 older-adult participants who had self-reported arthritis. Coding techniques consistent with grounded theory methodology were used for data analysis.
Findings: Nine themes were identified to describe barriers to chronic pain management experienced by older people with arthritis. The resulting model shows personal decision-making regarding the use of pain management methods.
Conclusions: Findings provide direction for enhancing independent older people's ability to manage chronic pain. The nine categories of barriers show direction for education of both clients and health care providers, as well as for planning other types of needed support. The theoretical model shows the complexity of barriers experienced by older adults with arthritis.