Senior Researcher (Kings College, London)  - Jonathan Koffman

We need to dispense with the 'One Size Fits All' approach to pain Jonathan suggests in these three stories from his research in South East London with palliative care patients from the white British and African Caribbean populations.

The first story is about a Caribbean woman in her 40s who drew parallels between her physical pain and loss the story of Job in the bible. There was a purpose in her suffering and for Jonathan this raises the issue of attending to the different meanings that patients give to their pain which can sometimes result in the refusal of analgesia.

A white British man who had been a scaffolder is the the subject of the next story from Jonathan. Jonathan feels that the man's stoical response to his pain mirrored a version of masculinity from his working life. In his stories of illness pain was a challenge that he believed could be overcome.

The last story, from an African Caribbean man in his 70's is about pain as a divine punishment from god. The man embraced his pain as something to be lived alongside. 

 

You can hear the full interview here.