Not So Golden After All

The Complexities of Chronic Low Back Pain in Older Adulthood

Meredith L. Stensland, PhD, LMSW; Sara Sanders, PhD, MSW


Gerontologist. 2018;58(5):923-931. 

In This Article


Appendix Semi-structured Interview Guide

Main Questions

  1. How would you describe in your own words what it is like to live with chronic low back pain?

  2. Describe your reactions to when the pain first started? Realized it wasn't going away?

  3. Think of a time when your back was hurting especially bad. Describe this specific time. What did you do in this situation?

  4. What emotions do you have when your back is hurting?

  5. What happens when your back is causing you pain?

  6. How does your world change when your back is hurting?

  7. Can you describe what your body feels like when your back is hurting?

  8. What it is like to be in your home when your back is hurting?

  9. What happens to your sense of time when your back is hurting?

  10. What role does the pain play in your relationships with other people?

  11. How has the pain altered the way you view yourself as an individual?

  12. How is your back pain different from other types of pain you have experienced?

  13. On a daily basis, how do you manage your pain?

  14. If you feel your life has changed since having this pain, can you tell me a story about this change?

  15. How have you made sense of your back pain?

  16. How has your outlook on life changed as a result of living with the back pain?

  17. If you could sum up your experience of chronic low back pain with one personal story or incident, what would you say?

Concluding Question

Is there anything else you would like to share about your back pain that we have not yet discussed?