Recovery despite everyday pain

Women's experiences of living with whiplash‐associated disorder

Document identifier:
Access full text here:10.1002/msc.1434
Keyword: Medical and Health Sciences, Health Sciences, Nursing, Medicin och hälsovetenskap, Hälsovetenskaper, Omvårdnad, Nursing, Qualitative research, Whiplash‐associated disorder, Women's health
Publication year: 2020
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 5 Gender equalitySDG 10 Reduced inequalitiesSDG 3 Good health and wellbeing
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by



Living with whiplash‐associated disorders (WAD) means living every day under the influence of pain and limitations. As the incidence of WAD and the related intensity of pain are somewhat higher among women than men, the aim of the present study was to describe women's experiences of living with WAD.


A purposive sample of seven women participated in individual in‐depth qualitative interviews, the transcripts of which were subjected to qualitative content analysis.


The results of the analysis suggested six themes of women's experiences with WAD: living with unpredictable pain; trying to manage the pain; living with limitations; being unable to work as before; needing support and understanding; and learning to live with limitations. The findings showed that unpredictable pain limited women's strength to engage in activities of daily life and be as active as before. Support and understanding were important for their ability to manage changes in their daily lives.


Pain considerably affects the daily lives of women with WAD, particularly by limiting their ability to perform activities and to enjoy their professional and social lives. As women with WAD need support with managing their daily lives, nurses and other healthcare personnel should adopt a person‐centred approach, in order to support such women according to their individual needs and circumstances.


Päivi Juuso

Luleå tekniska universitet; Omvårdnad och medicinsk teknik
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Lisa Skär

Department of Health, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Sweden
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Siv Söderberg

Department of Nursing Sciences, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden
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