oa Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology - Chronic pain and returning to learning : exploring the lived experiences of three women

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1445-7377



An in-depth analysis of the post-secondary learning experiences of three women revealed that their decisions to participate in college and university courses in Canada were interconnected with lived experiences of chronic pain. A causal link between chronic pain and returning to learning was an unexpected outcome of a study focusing on women's learning experiences in post-secondary institutions. Each woman in this study learned to cope with and adapt to her chronic pain, and over time, returned to learning to undertake new areas of study to accommodate a redefinition of self based on chronic pain. Eventually chronic pain became a conduit to more positive experiences of learning and reflection. The role and meaning of chronic pain in the learning equation represents a blind spot in the existing educational literature and it is through such indepth, descriptionptive stories of participants that we learn how this invisible barrier may influence the learning decisions of women.

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