Article

Headache sufferers' drawings reflect distress, disability and illness perceptions.

Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Journal of psychosomatic research (Impact Factor: 2.91). 06/2009; 66(5):465-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2008.09.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Drawings have recently been used with patients with heart problems to assess their perceptions of their illness. This study aimed to investigate whether drawings could be a useful way to assess headache patients' perceptions of their headaches and their reactions.
In a cross-sectional study, 65 university students who experienced persistent headaches were asked to draw a picture of how their headaches usually affected them. Drawings were assessed in three ways: they were categorized based on content; their size was measured; and image analysis software assessed their darkness. Associations between drawings, illness perceptions, mood, and health outcomes were assessed.
Twenty-seven people drew an external force to the head and these people had greater ratings of average pain and were more likely to attribute their headache to stress. Darker drawings were associated with greater emotional distress and lower vitality. Larger drawing size was associated with perceptions of worse consequences, worse symptoms, worse emotional representations, lower vitality, higher pain, and more days of restricted activity, lower happiness, and higher sadness.
Drawings offer an additional way to assess peoples' experience of their headaches and reflect illness perceptions and distress. People draw how they see themselves experiencing their headache and often include expressions and reactions. The inclusion of force to the head, darker drawings, and larger drawings are associated with worse perceptions of the headache and higher pain. Drawings may be a useful way for clinicians to understand patients' experience of pain.

2 Bookmarks
 · 
171 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pain drawings have frequently been used for documentation of pain and a convenient diagnosis tool. Pain drawings were found to be associated with psychological states in chronic patients with low back pain. Few researchers have investigated pain drawings except in low back pain. The aim of this study was to investigate the pain, pain drawings, psychological characteristics, and pain interference in the head, neck-shoulder (NS), and low-back/lower-limb (LB-LL) regions among patients with chronic pain. We included a total of 291 patients with new chronic pain (headache, 62; NS pain, 87; LB-LL pain, 142). The pain drawings and scores of 10-cm Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ), and Pain Disability Assessment Scale (PDAS) were extracted from medical records. A subset of 60 pain drawings was scored by senior and junior evaluators to assess inter-rater agreement. We investigated the correlation between pain drawings and VAS, HADS, PCS, SF-MPQ, and PDAS in each body region group at the initial visit. Moreover, almost all patients received nonsurgical treatment as a follow-up and were investigated using VAS after treatment. The reliability of pain drawings was substantial with an interevaluator reliability in headache, NS, and LB-LL pain. Nonorganic pain drawings were associated with psychological disturbances in NS and LB-LL pain, but not headache. Poor outcomes were associated with nonorganic drawings in LB-LL pain, but not in the case of headache or NS pain. Our results suggest that the characteristics of patients with nonorganic drawings differ according to body regions.
    Pain Practice 02/2014; · 2.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: To explore the perception of dyspnoea in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Design: Cross-sectional study using mixed methods. Methods: Thirty-two patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were included. Data collected included 3 health-related quality of life questionnaires (SF-36, St George and Maugeri respiratory questionnaires) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS) to assess the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on quality of life and psychological functioning. Patients were then asked to draw their body and represent difficulties related to breathing. Drawings were coded and categorized. Patients' comments were transcribed. Results: HADS showed scores of depression and anxiety as high as 12.3 ± 2.6 and 9.3 ± 2.2, respectively; SF-36 subscales were severely affected, and the St Georges and Maugeri questionnaires indicated a high impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (79 ± 13 and 60 ± 18, respectively). Drawings illustrated the pervasiveness of dyspnoea; patients' comments stressed breathlessness. Obstruction and tightening were salient, with a prominent representation of the head and internal structures, e.g. the lungs and the airways. Conclusion: Patients' drawings capture a global expression of illness experience. They provide insight into the heterogeneity of patients' perceptions, and allow acknowledgement of patients' representations and experiences. This may, in turn, help in gaining patients' participation in rehabilitation programmes or adherence to new medications.
    Journal of rehabilitation medicine: official journal of the UEMS European Board of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 06/2013; · 1.88 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite the importance of effective pain communication, talking about pain represents a major challenge for patients and clinicians because pain is a private and subjective experience. Focusing primarily on acute pain, this article considers the limitations of current methods of obtaining information about the sensory characteristics of pain and suggests that spontaneously produced "co-speech hand gestures" may constitute an important source of information here. Although this is a relatively new area of research, we present recent empirical evidence that reveals that co-speech gestures contain important information about pain that can both add to and clarify speech. Following this, we discuss how these findings might eventually lead to a greater understanding of the sensory characteristics of pain, and to improvements in treatment and support for pain sufferers. We hope that this article will stimulate further research and discussion of this previously overlooked dimension of pain communication.
    Health Communication 01/2014; · 0.97 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
127 Downloads
Available from
May 31, 2014