Moore, AJ, Richardson, JC, Bernard, M and Sim, J (2019) Interpreting intracorporeal landscapes: how patients visualize pathophysiology and utilize medical images in their understanding of chronic musculoskeletal illness. Disability and Rehabilitation, 41 (14). 1647 - 1654. ISSN 1464-5165

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Medical science and other sources, such as the media, increasingly inform the general public's understanding of disease. There is often discordance between this understanding and the diagnostic interpretations of health care practitioners (HCPs). In this paper - based on a supra-analysis of qualitative interview data from two studies of joint pain, including osteoarthritis - we investigate how people imagine and make sense of the pathophysiology of their illness, and how these understandings may affect self-management behavior. We then explore how HCPs' use of medical images and models can inform patients' understanding. In conceptualizing their illness to make sense of their experience of the disease, individuals often used visualizations of their inner body; these images may arise from their own lay understanding, or may be based on images provided by HCPs. When HCPs used anatomical models or medical images judiciously, patients' orientation to their illness changed. Including patients in a more collaborative diagnostic event that uses medical images and visual models to support explanations about their condition may help them to achieve a more meaningful understanding of their illness and to manage their condition more effectively. Implications for Rehabilitation Chronic musculoskeletal pain is a leading cause of pain and years lived with disability, and despite its being common, patients and healthcare professionals often have a different understanding of the underlying disease. An individual's understanding of his or her pathophysiology plays an important role in making sense of painful joint conditions and in decision-making about self-management and care. Including patients in a more collaborative diagnostic event using medical images and anatomical models to support explanations about their symptoms may help them to better understand their condition and manage it more effectively. Using visually informed explanations and anatomical models may also help to reassure patients about the safety and effectiveness of core treatments such as physical exercise and thereby help restore or improve patients' activity levels and return to social participation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Taylor & Francis at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: pathophysiology, osteoarthritis, pain, patient information, practitioner–patient communication
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC925 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Primary Care Health Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2019 09:46
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 09:47

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