Ethnic differences in pain perception
Authors: Cleland, Joshua A.; Palmer, Jessica A.; Venzke, Jane Walter
Source: Physical Therapy Reviews, Volume 10, Number 2, June 2005 , pp. 113-122(10)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:Pain is a complex multidimensional experience, which includes both a sensory and emotional component. With the increasing prevalence of multicultural societies consisting of numerous ethnic subgroups, each with differing beliefs, values, and customs, it has become increasingly important for the physical therapist to recognise how varying populations may experience pain differently. The purpose of this review is to describe the current healthcare literature regarding ethnic differences in pain perception; from this it can be ascertained that diverse ethnic groups express the quality and intensity or frequency of pain differently, and use varying amounts of analgesics in an attempt to control their pain. Physical therapists should recognise this and understand the implications this may have in the way patients express and communicate their pain. Recognising these individual differences, and that a patient's response to pain depends on their physiology, personality, life experiences and ethnicity is essential in developing the patient–therapist relationship, appropriate management strategies, and optimal outcomes.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2005-06-01