Published Papers - Abstract 770

Kirby E, Broom A, Sibbritt D, Refshauge K & Adams J. Suffering, recognition and reframing: health care choices and plural care pathways for women with chronic back pain. Current Sociology, 2015; 63(5): 652-668

Chronic back pain is a major health and social problem in Australia, often concealed and given limited credibility vis-a-vis other health conditions. Care practices are diversified with allied health, biomedical and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners regularly being consulted for help and care, often concurrently. While this differentiated ‘healthcare market’ may on one level be viewed as positive in terms of diverse therapeutic choices, there is also potential for difficulties with regard to care practices and negotiating competing therapeutic modalities. Drawing on qualitative interviews with 50 women aged 60–65 from the Australian Longitudinal Study onWomen’s Health living with chronic back pain, this article explores their accounts of suffering and the experiences of engaging in pluralistic healthcare choices, with aparticular focus on CAM. The findings reveal the ways by which healthcare pluralism is connected to the dynamics of suffering and relations of recognition.