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Research Article  |   January 2003
Encounters in a World of Pain: An Autoethnography
Author Affiliations
  • Ann Neville-Jan, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Therapy, University of Southern California, 1540 Alcazar St., CHP-133, Los Angeles, California 90089-9003; aneville@usc.edu
Article Information
Health and Wellness / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Special Section: Qualitative Research
Research Article   |   January 2003
Encounters in a World of Pain: An Autoethnography
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2003, Vol. 57, 88-98. doi:10.5014/ajot.57.1.88
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2003, Vol. 57, 88-98. doi:10.5014/ajot.57.1.88
Abstract

Pain, a major health problem in the United States, is a highly complex and subjective experience that is poorly understood by many medical, psychological, and rehabilitation practitioners. In this paper I use a qualitative research methodology, autoethnography, to present a personal narrative about my experience of chronic pain. In this research I am both the research participant and the researcher. I begin with my personal narrative. I then problematize conceptions about chronic pain and discuss them from the point of view of my own narrative and from stories and ethnographies in the literature. Finally I reflect on how occupational therapists can more effectively work with persons with chronic pain.