An Examination of Cultural Values and Pain Management in Foreign-Born Spanish-Speaking Hispanics Seeking Care at a Federally Qualified Health Center.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: Most studies done with Hispanics illustrate their preference for self-management practices; therefore, examining the factors driving patients to seek medical care for pain management will help elucidate what patients want and need from their doctors for pain management. The aim of the present study was to obtain patients' perspectives and enhance our understanding of the cultural beliefs influencing pain management decisions of foreign-born Spanish-speaking Hispanics with low acculturation. METHODS: Twenty-four individuals (17 females and 7 males) with self-reported chronic pain completed the study. Participants attended a focus group and shared about pain management practices and their experiences with medical care for pain management. Descriptive data on pain and mood variables were collected to examine how this population compares with the norms reported in the pain literature for Hispanics. RESULTS: Participants reported a preference for pain self-management and noninvasive medical treatments and expressed negative attitudes toward pain medications, although wanting the option of pain medications as a "last resort." Satisfaction with medical care for pain was highly influenced by the participants' expectations and preference for personal, warm, and friendly interactions. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings are consistent with previous reports on Hispanics' preference for self-care practices. Perhaps foreign-born Hispanics may rely on self-care practices and delay medical attention for pain management because of their unfamiliarity with the US health care system. Other potential explanations for a reliance on self-care for pain management involve patients having a limited understanding of or access to effective treatment options for chronic pain and negative experiences with US medical providers.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Pain Medicine  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Disparities, Ethnic, Hispanics, Pain Management, Primary Care, Qualitative Methods, Acculturation, Adult, Chronic Pain, Female, Focus Groups, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Hispanic or Latino, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Pain Management, Qualitative Research, Self Care, Young Adult
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Torres CA; Thorn BE; Kapoor S; DeMonte C
  • Start Page

  • 2058
  • End Page

  • 2069
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 11