The Pain Experience of Hispanic Patients With Cancer in the United States

Eun-Ok Im

Enrique Guevara

Wonshik Chee

pain experience, Hispanic
ONF 2007, 34(4), 861-868. DOI: 10.1188/07.ONF.861-868

Purpose/Objectives: To explore Hispanic patients' cancer pain experience from a feminist perspective to find explanations for inadequate pain management.

Design: A qualitative online forum study.

Setting: Internet and community settings.

Sample:15 Hispanic patients with cancer recruited using a convenience sampling method.

Methods: A six-month online forum was conducted using nine discussion topics, and the data were processed using a thematic analysis.

Main Research Variables: Cancer pain experience.

Findings: Four major themes emerged related to the following findings. The first was a lack of communication with healthcare providers regarding undermedication. The second was that women and men were enduring pain because of traditional gender roles guiding their behaviors. Third, participants placed the highest priority on family during the diagnosis and treatment process, thus setting aside their needs for pain management. The fourth theme was that participants were enduring inconvenience and unfair treatment in the U.S. healthcare system while simultaneously appreciating the treatment they had received.

Conclusions: Because of cultural factors and marginalized status in the United States as Hispanics and as immigrants, most of the participants could not adequately describe and manage their pain.

Implications for Nursing: Findings suggest a need for further investigation of the influences of multiple factors, including financial issues, cultural norms, and gender stereotypes, on cancer pain experience among diverse subgroups of Hispanic patients with cancer.

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