City Research Online

Minding the bladder: individuals' experiences of adjustment to chronic pain following successful sacral neuromodulation

Berkeley, A. (2018). Minding the bladder: individuals' experiences of adjustment to chronic pain following successful sacral neuromodulation. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


The merge of physical and mental health care has emphasised the need to understand the psychological experiences that can impact the mind-body relationship. This study is the first effort to explore individuals who have lived with bladder dysfunction and have undergone sacral neuromodulation that has led to device-related chronic pain. The research aims to illuminate the lived experience of adjusting to chronic pain from a device that is resolving bladder problems. The study employed semi-structured interviews and diary entries to collect data from six women living with device-related chronic pain for at least six months after device implantation. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis yielded three superordinate themes: “The Trade-off: Chronic Pain for Corrective Bladder Function”, “The Impact of Chronic Pain” and “Living with a hidden disability: The challenge of lack of awareness”. Each superordinate theme is accompanied by subthemes derived from my interpretation of participants’ interpretation of their experiences of persistent pain following sacral neuromodulation. The empirical findings confirm that the mind and body are inextricably linked and provide new insight that highlights that the adjustment to living with pain after bladder dysfunction is a complicated process that is influenced by both individual and societal factors. These exploratory findings are considered in relation to existing literature and implications for clinical practice, training and future research are discussed.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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