Nursing Research Paper on Cultural Aspects in Pain Management among Hispanics

Cultural Aspects in Pain Management among Hispanics


Cultural and ethnic aspects play vital roles in managing pain and analgesia. Hispanic patients go through pain due to adverse cultural and ethnic perceptions, expectations, and dynamics. However, Hispanic populations express pain differently and adversely. More so, people from minority Hispanic communities are regarded as poor with regards to pain management. They also experience reduced prescriptions with regards to analgesia based on the doses of pain administered (Larry, 2012). This thesis will focus on pain management while discussing cultural and ethnic roles on pain perceptions, expectations, dynamics and management. The framework will consist of the patients and a team of healthcare givers. For the purpose of this article, Bates Bio-Cultural Model of pain will be utilized. It integrates social learning theory and physiologic explanations on pain development, interpretation and management (Epps ET AL., 2008).


Hispanic population located and living in United States has been on the rise since 1950. In 1950, the population was estimated as four million persons from Hispanic community. In 2008, the estimated number of Hispanic persons was recorded at forty seven million. This is attributed to high birth rates and increasing immigration cases.  Although they come from different and diverse backgrounds, they share similar values, languages and religious beliefs. However, they also differ on country of origin, income levels, degree of acculturation, levels of education and the length they have resided in United States (Larry, 2012).  It is important to study cultural and ethnic aspects affecting and/or influencing care and treatment. Some persons feel neglected especially when they regard their quality of life is adversely affected. They feel pain which they find difficulties in managing and controlling in order to derive more satisfaction from their current situations in life (Donahue, Piazza, Griffin, Dykes & Fitzpatrick, 2008).

            Race has played a vital role in developing and implementing policies aimed at reducing, managing and controlling pain. For the past two decades, pain management within Hispanic populations has been on the rise. Scientific literature materials coupled with curricula development and clinical practices are utilized to manage pain. The Joint

Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations (JCAHOs) implemented new guidelines aimed at helping persons and organizations providing care and treatment to manage pain. Thus, JCAHOs aims at providing appropriate care to Hispanic populations. It also aims at improving and increasing qualities of life through provision of pain relievers as well as educational interventions and standards to optimize pain management. These forms of treatment are mainly provided to Hispanic persons from racial, cultural and ethnic minority communities (Mario & Knox, 2013).

            An assessment was conducted among persons living in minority communities. The findings highlighted several issues and challenges affecting people’s lives thus, increasing pain and lowering quality of life. It was therefore important for JCAHO to formulate and implement pain management standards in United States to serve Hispanic persons residing in the country. In order to care, treat and control persons unable to manage their pain, JCAHO provides the following guidelines. Firstly, recognize the right of patients to appropriate assessment and management. This ensures they are enrolled in an appropriate program tasked at assisting people to manage their pain (Green, Anderson & Baker, 2008).

Secondly, identify patients with pain in an initial screening assessment. Different persons suffer from diverse forms of pain. As a result, people from minority communities cannot be enrolled in a similar pain management program. Thirdly, perform a more comprehensive pain assessment when pain is identified in a person’s life. This helps in identifying unique factors attributing an increasing pain (Mario & Knox, 2013). Consequently, record the results of the assessment in a way that health care facilitates are able to conduct regular assessments and follow-ups. This measures recovery plans as it identifies factors either contributing or reducing pain. Thus, it assists in listing a number of factors that can be applied to achieve full recovery within a short period of time. This further ensures patients learn to manage their pain outside the health care facilities, improving and achieving high qualities and standards of life (Mario & Knox, 2013).


This thesis has studied, examined and discussed ethnic and cultural aspects on pain management and control. However, it has also asserted cultural, ethnic and racial perceptions can increase pain among persons from minority communities. It is therefore important to ensure persons from minority communities are able to access health care facilities. They ensure Hispanic populations admitted as patients in the health care facilities are provided with sufficient pain management assistance. It is provided in form of programs facilitated by a group of highly qualified, trained, experienced and willing health care givers and professionals. However, it is also vital and convenient to build Hispanic and Non-Hispanic ED health care facilities in rural areas to cater for patients located in the regions. Thus, pain management is a health care issue that can adversely affect a person’s quality of life, psychological status, emotional balance and strength. Seeing treatment can play an important role in reducing the adverse effects and eliminating the possibilities a person is likely to suffer from the same in the future.


Donahue, M., Piazza, I., Griffin, M., Dykes, P., & Fitzpatrick, J. (2008). The Relationship Between Nurses‟ Perception of Empowerment and Patient Satisfaction, Applied Nursing Research, 21, 2-7

Epps, C., Ware, L., & Packard, A. (2008). Ethnic Wait Time Differences in Analgesic Administration in the Emergency Department, Pain Management Nursing, 9, 26-32.

Green, C., Anderson, K., & Baker, T. (2008). The Unequal Burden of Pain: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pain, Pain Medicine, 4, 277- 294.

Larry, P. D. (2012). Trans-cultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, F. A. Davis Publishers.

Mario, I., & Knox, H. T. (2013). Culture, Brain, and Analgesia: Understanding and Managing Pain in Diverse Populations, Oxford University Press.