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The Metaphors for pain: a study of pain metaphors as communication
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Communications Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When describing pain the spoken language one is used to is often inadequate. This article takes as departure this communicative problem. The datamaterial consists of semi-structured interviews with thirty-seven patients undergoing treatment for their chronic pain.The metaphor consists of two parts or domains: the domain to be described and the domain from which a description is borrowed. 145 metaphors were identified in the data material. The analysis concernedboth the domains, their relationship and the metaphor's communicative function. The results shows that different types of 'linguisticimages' were used to describe pain, and that the relationship between the two domains were of two kinds: experiential and semantic,respectively. Further, five communicative functions of the metaphorical talk were found: a comparative, structuring, contextulising,problematising and interactive, function respectively. It is argued that professional caregivers by metaphorical talk could acquire indirect access to fragment of patients' experiences of pain, create interactivity and compliance.

Keyword [en]
pain, metaphor, communication, patient description, patient counseling
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79052OAI: diva2:538010
Available from: 2012-06-28 Created: 2012-06-28 Last updated: 2012-06-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Smärtans mosaik: kommunikation och lärande om långvarig smärta
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Smärtans mosaik: kommunikation och lärande om långvarig smärta
2001 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on how people, living with long-term pain, exploreand communicate their pain, by way of speech as a means for producingrelations between themselves, the. pain and everyday activities. The datamaterial consists of focused research interviews with patients undergoingtreatment for their pain at a pain clinic. The thesis takes as a point ofdeparture that people living with pain in various situations need tocommunicate their pain experiences which posits the person in acommunicational dilemma giving_ shape to a multi-dimensionalexperience. Different kinds of communicative resources are used in thesecommunication situations, verbal and figurative talk together withgestures. It is argued that learning about one's pain could be described as an apprenticeship process, which concerns as well the relations between the afflicted person and the her/his pain as how these relations are to be communicated. An important result is that mastering one's pain is about an on-going, situated, searching and communicative practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2001. 108 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 242
Chronic pain, communication, coping, gesture, metaphor, accounts, patient perspectives, living with pain, kronisk smärta, kommunikation, smärta
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35035 (URN)24710 (Local ID)91-7373-214-1 (ISBN)24710 (Archive number)24710 (OAI)
Public defence
2001-12-14, Sal Elysion, Hus-T, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2014-08-28Bibliographically approved

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Peolsson, Michael
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Department of Communications StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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