Coping with long-term pain after a stroke

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2004 Mar;27(3):215-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2003.07.006.


The aim of this qualitative study was to describe pain, coping strategies, and experienced outcome of coping with long-term pain conditions after a stroke. Forty-three participants were interviewed: 15 with central post-stroke pain (CPSP), 18 with nociceptive pain, and 10 with tension-type headache. Analysis of the data was by content analysis. Pain-related problems described were incomprehensibility regarding the pain, disturbed sleep, fatigue, diminished capacity, mood changes, and stress in relationships. Different coping strategies were used; the most common were making the pain comprehensible, planning of activities, taking medications, communicating, and distractions. Changing body position, making comparison, and enduring the pain were common in central or nociceptive pain, rest and relaxation in tension-type headache. Communicating their pain gave a feeling of perplexity and resignation. Satisfaction was reported in the cases of consideration shown by others. Pain after a stroke requires specialized knowledge in order to understand the patient's experiences and to enhance coping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Time Factors