Perceptions and experiences of patients with neck pain: a systematic critical review of qualitative studies with meta-summary and meta-synthesis

Università degli Studi di Verona

Corso di laurea in Fisioterapia
A.A. 2021/2022
Campus Universitario di Savona

Candidata: Laura ZANCONATO
Relatore: Dott FT Giacomo ROSSETTINI PhD



  • Objective: This study aimed at exploring the perspectives and experiences of patients with Neck Pain (NP) by synthesizing all available qualitative studies.
  • Methods: We conducted a systematic, qualitative meta-summary and meta-synthesis following the five-step methodology proposed by Sandelowski and Barroso. A systematic search of nine electronic databases was conducted in May 2021. Methodological quality was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) tool. The protocol was registered in the Open Science Framework Registries Database (OSF) (DOI:
  • Results: Nine studies were included in the meta-synthesis, for a total of 103 participants (73 females). We identified 11 categories belonging to three main themes: physical – “My neck has gone wrong”; psychological – “I am worried about my recovery” and social – “Pain limits my life”. In the physical theme, the categories with the highest frequency were symptoms (67%) followed by body perception (44%). The psychological theme frequencies from highest to lowest were psychological consequences (100%), coping strategies (100%), mindset (67%), expectations from health care professionals (44%) and gender influence (22%). In the social theme frequencies from highest to lowest were social relationships (56%), work, activities of daily living and physical activity (44%, respectively).
  • Conclusions: The patient’s experience with NP is a multidimensional phenomenon where the physical, psychological and social dimensions influenced each other. These findings suggested that healthcare professionals should be aware of recognizing and evaluating all of the patient’s experiences to offer a truly patient-centered care pathway.
  • Impact Statement: This qualitative meta-synthesis responded to a call to action to explore perspectives and experiences of individuals with NP. These findings are crucial for clinicians when planning and implementing evidence-based recommendations on NP.

Schermata 2024-06-01 alle 12.48.01

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