Pain management strategies among persons with long-term shoulder pain after stroke – a qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To explore strategies that persons with persistent shoulder pain after stroke use to manage their pain in daily life. Design: A qualitative study using semi-structured face-to-face interviews, analysed by content analysis. Setting: A university hospital. Subjects: Thirteen community-dwelling persons (six women; median age: 65 years; range 57–77) with shoulder pain after stroke were interviewed median two years after the pain onset. Results: An overall theme ‘Managing shoulder pain by adopting various practical and cognitive strategies’ emerged from the analysis. Three categories were identified: (1) practical modifications to solve daily life problems; (2) changed movement patterns and specific actions to mitigate the pain, by non-painful movements, avoidance of pain-provoking activities and various pain distracting activities and (3) learned how to deal with the pain mentally. Several strategies were used simultaneously and they were experienced successful to various degrees. Conclusion: The findings in the present study indicate that persons with persistent shoulder pain after stroke use both practical and cognitive strategies to manage their pain.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Luleå University of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physiotherapy


  • coping, interview, qualitative study, rehabilitation, shoulder pain, Stroke
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-364
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Early online date2018 Sep
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch