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Papers of the Week

2020 Apr 21

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Patient Assessment and Chronic Pain Self-Management in Ethnomedicine: Seasonal and Ecosystemic Embodiment in Ayurvedic Patient-Centered Care.


Ayurveda's preventive focus complements its strength with the interventionist approach of the biomedical in chronic pain self-management. Patient-centered care (PCC) using ethnomedicine promises greater patient self-management; however, few studies have examined environmental relationships and PCC in self-management of chronic pain through Ayurveda. To examine how Ayurveda's philosophical focus on whole system frameworks describes the integration of the individual and the ecological in tailoring an integrative patient-centered diagnostic and prognostic approach to chronic pain management. This qualitative case study conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews of Ayurvedic physicians from India ( = 10) and a qualitative inductive content analytic approach. The diagnostic and interpretational framework of the supports the integration of the individual and the ecological through (a) the circadian and seasonal cycles relating mind-body awareness with diet, lifestyle (e.g., yoga), and breath (e.g., ) and (b) biogeographical and ecosystemic regions relating the biogeographical and the ecological (e.g., ) with the regulatory principle of pain and its physiological and anatomical perception () in an approach that goes beyond treating pain etiology to a whole person PCC approach. The study highlights how circadian and seasonal cycles and evolutionary spatial-temporal factors of biogeographical and ecological regions are employed in patient assessment and self-management to support patient involvement. Recommendations for PCC in integrative chronic pain management include supporting patient ownership of their care through the framework that relates the individual and the ecological in the patient's own life-context and supports co-creation of a collaborative plan of care using an ethnomedical framework.