"The Lived Experience of Investigations for Sciatica"

2015-07-30 14:38:22 | BioPortfolio


This will be an exploratory study, using semi-structured interviews to explore patients' experiences of undergoing investigations for Sciatica (leg pain referred from the lower back). Interviews will be analysed based on an Interpretative Phenomenological Approach (IPA).The end product of analysis will be a detailed account of patients' experiences supported by direct quotes.The intention is that this account will help health-care providers to understand patients' experiences and to plan and provide Sciatica care that is effective, evidence based and acceptable to patients.


Sciatica (leg pain referred from the lower back) is a common problem that causes significant pain and disability. Many patients experience lasting symptoms that do not respond to pain relief or physiotherapy. This group of patients are commonly managed by Spinal Specialists who help determine the best treatment approach and consider if investigations are required. In the United Kingdom (UK), clinical guidelines suggest that imaging for Sciatica is only appropriate for patients who are considered likely to need surgery or when the cause is suspected to be serious such as cancer or infection. Patients who do not meet the criteria for investigations express frustration when clinical tests and opinion alone are used to diagnose and treat Sciatica. Some patients are unable to accept that investigations are not required and loose confidence in treatment. If Sciatica is to be managed effectively, the treatment offered must be acceptable to and successfully negotiated with patients.

Little research is currently available regarding patients' expectations or experiences of undergoing investigations for Sciatica. The aim of this study is to explore the experience of patients who have undergone investigations for Sciatica, to gain an understanding of how patients experience investigations as part of their overall management of Sciatica.This study specifically explores the experiences of patients whose Sciatica is likely to be caused by nerve root involvement.

This study will be exploratory, based on an Interpretative Phenomenological Approach (IPA). Up to 15 patients who have undergone investigations for Sciatica will be interviewed using a semi-structured format. Patients will be recruited from one National Health Service (NHS) Trust on the South Coast of England. Interviews will be audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically, based on an IPA approach. The end product of analysis will be a detailed account of patient's experience of investigations, supported by direct quotes. The intention is that this account will help health-care providers to understand patients' experiences and to plan and provide Sciatica care that is effective, evidence based and acceptable to patients.

Study Design





No intervention applied


Not yet recruiting


University of Southampton

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2015-07-30T14:38:22-0400

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