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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634

Abstract

LAVIELLE, Pilar et al. Illness behavior in chronic pain. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2008, vol.50, n.2, pp. 147-154. ISSN 0036-3634.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342008000200008.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the illness behaviour in patients with chronic pain. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We conducted semi-structured interviews to 53 patients during 2000, in a tertiary care center. We explored their initial interpretations, responses and subsequent practices to chronic pain, until they received a diagnosis that satisfied them. RESULTS: Illness behaviour was determined by pain intensity and disability; beliefs regarding pain causes, trust in social networks, and quality and satisfaction with the health care systems. In terms of the decision to seek care, the first option was to go to the popular sector, followed by consulting a general physician, and as last resort, to go to a tertiary care center ("with a specialist"). CONCLUSIONS: Illness behaviour should be conceptualized as a process, which combines the use of different health care sectors by the same subjects, as a result of care provided sequentially by each previous sector.

Keywords : illness behaviour; chronic pain; health care systems; Mexico.

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