Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2016; 5(2):(163-318)


Cultural differences in pain experience among four ethnic groups: A qualitative pilot study

Kelly Yu-Hsin Liao, Mallori Henceroth, Qian Lu, Angie LeRoy

Abstract

Background: A growing body of literature suggests that racial/ethnic groups experience pain differently. The current pilot study explored cultural differences in the meaning of pain, display rules of pain, and pain coping strategies among four ethnic groups (i.e., Caucasians, African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics). Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a multi-ethnic sample of 20 college students (6 African-American, 7 white, 4 Asian, and 3 Hispanic) (85% female, 15% male). Results: Cultural differences emerged in how various groups give meaning to pain, express pain, cope with pain, and utilize social support. Conclusions: Findings emphasize the need for culturally competent health care providers and have implications for how cultural differences can be used to help various groups to better manage their pain.

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