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Several chronic diseases, such as diabetes, rely on needles for treatment and monitoring purposes. However, individuals with needle phobia are more likely to experience difficulties complying with interventions, resulting in adverse health outcomes. There has been limited research into the effects of needle phobia in chronic disease, particularly for adults. As chronic disease becomes increasingly common and COVID-19 vaccinations are required regularly, the issue of needle phobia urgently requires greater attention. This research aims to explore the lived experience of adults who are regularly exposed to needles due to chronic disease. A qualitative approach was selected to allow a deeper look into this population's daily experience. Eight adults with various health conditions were recruited using Facebook community groups. Online semi-structured interviews were conducted, and thematic analysis was used as an analytical approach for the data. Thematic analysis identified: 1) the power imbalance between patients and healthcare professionals, 2) regaining power as a patient, 3) the desire to be understood, and 4) the tension between rationality and phobia. Results highlight the need for reciprocal relationships between clinician and patient and greater education on the distinction between dislike and phobia. Results also support the conception of pain as a complex process that can be highly emotional. Future research is needed to explore how the desire for control contributes to the experience of managing disease and phobia, as this is a unique finding of the study. Results have implications for healthcare professionals, psychologists, and public health measures.
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