Influence of culture on cancer pain management in hispanic patients

Gloria Juarez, Betty Ferrell, Tami Borneman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

PURPOSE: The purpose of this pilot study was to describe the influence of culture on cancer pain management in Hispanic (Mexican and Central American) patients. DESCRIPTION OF STUDY: This qualitative study is guided by the conceptual framework of the Pain and Quality of Life model and the Biocultural Model of Pain. It was developed as a companion study to a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded project to disseminate a pain education program for adult patients with cancer and their family care givers in community home-care agencies. After completing the NCI study, Hispanic subjects were invited to participate in the qualitative companion study. A total of 17 subjects, the majority of whom were women, were interviewed. The Hispanic Pain Experience Questionnaire (HPEQ) was used to elicit answers to open-ended questions regarding the perception and management of cancer pain. RESULTS: Themes that emerged from the questionnaire were influence of Culture, Expressions of Pain, Managing Pain/Medications and Use of Nondrug Interventions. Responses suggest that culture, family beliefs, and religion contribute significantly to management and expression of pain by the patient and care giver. In addition, this group showed that pain may be approached with stoicism; therefore, lack of verbal or behavioral expression of pain, does not indicate a lack of pain itself. These patients also demonstrated a reliance on folk beliefs and nondrug interventions. The most common reason cited for noncompliance with pharmacologic treatment was an inability to understand instructions. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: When providing care to Hispanic patients, it is imperative to be nonjudgmental, sensitive, and respectful. To improve compliance, the multidisciplinary cancer team should 1) incorporate the patients' folk healthcare practices and beliefs into the plan of care when possible; 2) involved family members and friends in the patient's care, identifying one key family contact; and 3) ensure that instructions for medications are available in Spanish and understood by the patient and care giver. When patients' overall beliefs and values are respected, compliance with pharmacological and other interventions may increase accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-269
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Practice
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 24 1998
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Pain Management
Hispanic Americans
Pain
Caregivers
Patient Care
National Cancer Institute (U.S.)
Home Care Agencies
Cancer Pain
Religion
Compliance
Neoplasms
Quality of Life
Pharmacology
Delivery of Health Care
Education

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Culture
  • Expressions of pain
  • Hispanics
  • Nondrug interventions
  • Pain management
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Oncology

Cite this

Influence of culture on cancer pain management in hispanic patients. / Juarez, Gloria; Ferrell, Betty; Borneman, Tami.

In: Cancer Practice, Vol. 6, No. 5, 24.09.1998, p. 262-269.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Juarez, Gloria ; Ferrell, Betty ; Borneman, Tami. / Influence of culture on cancer pain management in hispanic patients. In: Cancer Practice. 1998 ; Vol. 6, No. 5. pp. 262-269.
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