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Pain & The Nurse

Pain is a complex, multidimensional phenomenon that is one of the greatest challenges to nurses in providing quality care to patients. Nurses are responsible for pain assessment and for the evaluation of the effects of pain therapies. This requires nurses to know the different types of pain, methods of data collection, and measurement of the components of the pain experience. Nursing’s role in the management of the patient with pain is important in both pharmacological and nonpharmacological pain therapies. It is important to examine the common barriers to pain management, ethical issues related to pain management, and pain management in special populations. The role of the nurse is also as a member of multiprofessional teams that provide comprehensive, multimodal pain management with patients.

Culture & Pain

How can culture affect pain? 

"Pain is a universal human experience that affects people across their lifespan. The mechanisms of perceiving and responding to pain differ among individuals and are affected by multiple interrelated biological, psychological, and social factors (Gatchel, McGreary, McGeary & Lippe 2014). Cultural and ethnic backgrounds appear to further influence how individuals perceive, manifest, and handle pain. For instance, in a study by Aufiero, Stankewicz, Quazi, Jacoby and Stoltzfus (2017), a standardized pain stimulus was administered to two groups of Caucasian and Latino adult patients from both genders. Results indicate a significant difference in pain rating between the groups, with Latinos and women reporting higher levels of pain. In another study, Herbert et al. (2017) investigated cultural pain differences among a sample of African American and non-Hispanic White individuals diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Their findings revealed an association between ethnic identity and cortisol levels that were negatively correlated with the intensity of reported pain. Similarly, a Robertson, Robinson, and Stephens’ Study (2017) indicated that Japanese participants rate their level of pain significantly higher than British participants. Despite this growing evidence, the literature pertaining to how culture influences pain presentation continues to need additional investigation. For instance, Ostrom et al. (2017) argue that differences in pain tolerance are not that simple and are linked to emotional, psychosocial, cognitive and other factors which exert a greater influence on perception of pain compared to race and culture"(Miller & Abu-Alhaija, 2019, p.183).

Miller, E., & Abu-Alhaija, D. (2019). Cultural Influences on Pain Perception and Management [Abstract]. Pain Management Nursing, 20(3), 183-184.

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Pharmacare in Canada: The Paediatric Perspective

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Siobhan Bell

@Seneca College

King City, ON

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Lived Experience of Pain by Siobhan Bell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), except where otherwise noted.