PURPOSE: To explore patients' and family members' experiences of participating in an intervention using nurse-led family nursing conversations (NLFCs) targeting families affected by chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP), including the perceived impact of the intervention on the individual and the family. CNCP substantially impacts patients and families. Due to a lack of simple treatment solutions, the condition needs to be managed rather than cured. Family involvement seems a promising tool, but research evaluating specific approaches is limited. Interventions based on the family systems nursing framework by Wright and Leahey have been helpful in other populations. Nonetheless, the approach warrants further investigation and evaluation in patients with CNCP.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A phenomenological hermeneutical design was applied, and individual interviews were conducted with ten patients and ten family members who received the intervention. The analysis was inspired by Ricoeur's philosophy of text interpretation.
FINDINGS: Three themes emerged during the analysis. "Taking part in the intervention while being affected by previous experiences" showed that patients and family members were affected by different experiences and burdens and therefore entered the intervention with varied starting points. "Being empowered through validation and understanding" showed that participants mainly viewed the intervention as beneficial, increasing patients' and family members' mutual understanding and underpinning acceptance of the chronic pain condition. "Being receptive to the intervention - mechanisms contributing to achieving benefit" identified contributing mechanisms influencing patients' and family members' experiences of the intervention. These mechanisms included confidence in the nurses' facilitation of the intervention, the timing of the intervention, the participant's level of acceptance, and readiness to engage in the intervention.
CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The intervention was mainly experienced as helpful. Thus, healthcare settings treating CNCP should consider implementing NLFC in clinical practice with adjustments to meet the vulnerability of the CNCP population.