Pat Walton Photography



I am currently studying for my PhD at the University of Cumbria. The project "Chronic pain within a family context" is particularly important to me as I am too a chronic pain patient and me and my family share the experiences of the participating families. I know how important it is for the families to have voice, as they rarely get asked or heard by anyone. The images are based on my interpretation of the interview data I collected during the study and therefore will always be subjective. However, the experiences of the participating families are replicated in the many medical studies I have read during my research.


The families I interviewed were selected because one of the parents suffers from chronic pain, which could be caused by injury or other illness, but had been experienced by the patients for many years. The other criteria were children above the age of 12, so they were old enough to share their experiences and views with me. The study was approved by the NHS Ethics Committee in Lancaster prior to selecting participants.


I used an Interpretative Phenomenological Approach (IPA) to interpret the interview data, as I felt this would be an appropriate method to understand the lived experience of the participants.


I have taken my study to the EFIC Congress: Pain in Europe VIII in Florence in 2013 as well as to the 7th World Congress of the World Institute of Pain (WIP 2014) where medical professionals approved and endorsed the study's importance as way of supporting expression and communication within the families as well as with medical professionals.


Further, I have presented the work at a variety of conferences where the study was discussed by other researchers and artists. My aim is now to show the work in form of an exhibition, in order to collect feedback from a wider audience. I am hoping to engage the general public as much as patients and their families, fellow artists and medical professionals alike. This will form an important and integral part of my thesis which will conclude my research before submitting the study for review by external and university examiners.

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