P a g e | 8 QUALITATIVE EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS IN PAIN SECTION 2: Qualitative Evidence Syntheses (QES’s) exploring the experience of pain If you want to find, and learn from, qualitative research that has been published in your area, a good start is to look for a qualitative evidence synthesis (QES). QES is a burgeoning method of research that aims to condense, or develop ideas from, published qualitative findings. There are a growing number of QES that explore the experience of pain and also a review of QES, or mega-ethnography, which brings together findings from 11 QES reviews exploring the experience of living with chronic non-malignant pain . The mega-ethnography draws on stories from more than 6000 people living with chronic pain. The following statements summarise the mega-ethnography findings. We have also included a power-point presentation on the IASP website which illustrates these findings visually for use in an educational setting. The following statements summarise the findings from Toye and colleagues‟ mega- ethnography : Life impoverished and confined Pain is all-pervading. It invades all aspects of my day and night. My life is impoverished. I am confined to the moment & uncertain of the future. Struggling against my body to be me I struggle to maintain my sense of self. My body is alien and malevolent. I cannot fulfil my normal duties. I am irreparably altered. Quest for the diagnostic ‘holy grail’ I long for a medical diagnosis. If the doctor can‟t find anything then people will not believe me. There must be something wrong with me. I need to find out what is wrong with me so that I can be cured. Lost personal credibility I have lost my personal credibility. No one believes me because there is nothing to prove that my pain is real. Trying to keep up appearances I need to keep up appearances. I keep my pain to myself because I don‟t want to be judged as weak, and I don‟t want to spoil things for everyone else. If I keep quiet about it no one will notice that I am no longer the person that I was. Need to be treated with dignity I am having a negative experience of healthcare. No one is hearing or seeing me. I need to be treated with dignity. I am being sent around in circles. I feel like a shuttlecock in the system. Deciding to end the quest for the grail is not easy It is a profound personal challenge to give up the quest for a diagnosis and at times I just cannot accept that there is no cure for my pain. ACTIVITY 5: a PowerPoint of findings from a mega-ethnography of chronic pain  Go to page 21 to find an activity sheet
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