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Struggling for sense of control: everyday life with chronic pain for women of the Iraqi diaspora in Sweden
Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 41, no 8, 799-807 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


As dispersed ethnic populations in Swedish society expand, the healthcare system need to adapt rehabilitation services according to their needs. The experiences of trauma and forced resettlement have a continuing impact on health and musculoskeletal pain, as well as the intersecting structures that prerequisite the possibilities in the new country. To understand the specific needs of women from the Iraqi diaspora in Sweden, there is a need to elucidate the effects of pain on their everyday life.


To elucidate everyday life with chronic pain from the perspective of women from the Iraqi diaspora in Sweden.


Qualitative interview study according to Glaser's grounded theory.


The results from 11 interviews suggest that pain was associated with dependency on society as well as on family. It resulted in a struggle for sense of control, framed by faith in God, influenced by the healthcare system, and with support from family. The women's testimony of lack of continuity of care, resulting in recollection of lived traumas in every visit, is a vital sign of the unconscious power relations within health care and how representatives from health care, instead of being the ones who help the women forward, become the ones who hold them back.


The results show the importance of challenging the normative assumptions embedded in health care and treatment for patients with chronic pain and of including the voice of "others".

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 41, no 8, 799-807 p.
National Category
Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215509DOI: 10.1177/1403494813492033PubMedID: 23761934OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-215509DiVA: diva2:687449
Available from: 2014-01-14 Created: 2014-01-14 Last updated: 2014-11-18Bibliographically approved

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