Drug Res (Stuttg) 2017; 67(06): 327-336
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-121420
Original Article
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Osteoarthritis Patients’ Experiences of Pharmacotherapy for Pain Management in Iran: A Qualitative Study

Vahid Zamanzadeh
1   Tabriz Health Services Management Research Center, Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
Fazlollah Ahmadi
2   Medical Sciences Faculty, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Mozhgan Behshid
3   Tabriz Medical Education Research Center (MERC), Daneshghah St., Tabriz, IranDepartment of Medical Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, South Shariati St Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz Iran
Alireza Irajpoor
4   International Branch, Aras, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Department of Critical Care Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
Parvin Zakeri-Milani
5   Gastrointestinal Research Center, Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
28 March 2017 (online)



Despite the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy for pain management in patients with osteoarthritis (OA), personal biases in the selection, administration, and continuation of pharmacotherapy challenge the proper management of symptoms and the effectiveness of the therapy. This study was conducted to carry out an in-depth examination of the experiences of patients with OA about their use of pharmacotherapy for the OA pain management and the existing challenges.

Materials and Methods:

The present qualitative study was conducted on 17 patients with OA, 5 of their family members and 8 healthcare personnel using a conventional content analysis approach. Data were collected through 35 interviews, which were unstructured at first but became semi-structured later on. Data collection continued until data saturation and analyzed simultaneously. The criteria used to determine the rigor of the study included the credibility, transferability, dependability and conformability of the data.


The analysis of the data revealed 3 main categories and 8 subcategories. The main categories including preference for non-pharmacological modalities, preference for symptomatic slow-acting drugs for osteoarthritis (SySADOAs) and preference for vitamins and minerals.


Briefing the patients on the therapeutic goals, participating them in the clinical decision-making process, modifying drug administration patterns through prescribing the minimum effective dosage and substituting alternative therapies whenever possible, consistently monitoring the therapeutic responses and any unexpected complications and use of complementary treatments, makes up strategies that can help improve OA pain management.