is the main reason for patients with osteoarthritis (OA) to visit health
clinics. Health seeking behaviors indicate unmet patient needs and lack of
understanding of OA pain patterns. This study aimed to describe the
experiences of Iranian patients with OA and explore their health seeking
behaviors and perceptions on pain management related to osteoarthritis.
a qualitative approach, data was collected by interviewing 19 patients, 2
family members, and 5 health care providers from the in-patient and
out-patient clinics, and physicians’ offices. Data saturation was reached
after 31 in-depth and semi-structured interviews (five second interviews).
Data were analyzed by qualitative content analysis, using comparison,
reﬂection and interpretation techniques. The criteria used to enhance rigor
included credibility, transferability, dependability, and conﬁrmability.
main categories and six subcategories emerged from data analysis. The first
main category included "adapting to the reality" which had three subcategories:
Facing OA pain, seeking health care, and accepting pain as a part of life.
The second main category included "behavior fluctuation" with three
subcategory of role conflict, responsibility for self-care and, adherence to
prescribed treatment versus self-treatment.
Conclusion: Care seeking
behaviors for chronic pain sufferers are void of cultural, emotional, social
and financial situation and patient expectations. Some misconceptions emerged
about the health problem and its management, which may lead to negative
attitudes toward treatment and therapists and finally lead to non-adherence
to treatment. Patients need for education to enhance appropriate health care