Free Essay on Patient-Centered Care: Chronic Pain

Published: 2023-09-12
Free Essay on Patient-Centered Care: Chronic Pain
Essay type:  Problem solution essays
Categories:  Medicine Multiculturalism Disorder Nursing care Essays by pagecount
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1527 words
13 min read

Chronic pain is a difficult situation that results from psychological, biological, and social factors. It is a significant health issue in the entire world. The use of patient-centered care is a good avenue for treating chronic pain. Interdisciplinary patient-centered care is crucial in managing pain. Healthcare providers may not think of themselves as specialists in constant pain in today's healthcare system (Martin & Barkley Jr, 2016). Recruiting clinicians into pain-focused areas has proved a difficult task. Healthcare workers mostly treat patients with chronic pain in primary care, specialty areas, and behavioral health. Therefore, it is essential to have nurses who are well conversant with the assessment of symptoms interpretation by different patients. Culturally diverse groups explore attitudes based on culture and beliefs on causes, treatment, management, and painful experiences. Patients and healthcare givers introduce their cultural ideas when communicating and interpreting the pain experienced by patients. The health professional’s knowledge explains the response to the patient's pain. Therefore, nurses must be well conversant with different cultural beliefs of people and how they respond to pain.

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A Clinical Practice Situation

It was on a typical Tuesday morning when things turned out contrary to my plans. My day was well planned with a series of events and the list of patients I was to attend. Little did I know that my schedule was going to be altered. On my way, I met a woman lying on the ground with some people surrounding her. I enquired about her before proceeding to help. I then explained to her who I was, and she told me with a fading voice that she was afraid she could not walk again. The look in her eyes explained the pain she was going through. She complained of severe pain in all her joints. Tears of pain were running down her cheeks as I tried to raise her. To my disappointment, she could not even stand even with support. She stammered as she explained to me how she felt, and at times She went numb. I quickly looked for water and gave her some painkillers before proceeding to the clinic.

Psychological, Spiritual, Social, Developmental, and Physiological Aspects of the Patient and her Condition

Psychologically, the patient was filled with anger, disappointments, sadness, and anxiety. She was already confessing that she could not walk again. Her tears could tell sorrow she was having, and the look in her eyes explained her disappointment. Socially, the woman was affected a lot by the pain. Her life was negatively impacted as she could not participate In her normal activities, and her relationship with other people was threatened. She developed social stigma due to the perception that she wasn’t strong enough to cope with the pain and the fear of being labeled a failure (Martin & Barkley Jr, 2016). Physiologically, the patient could not continue doing her regular duties since the pain was too much. Eventually, she had to stop walking or doing anything due to pain physically.

The developmental aspect of the woman and her condition was profoundly affected. Pain fluctuated and led to instability of her progression, making her feel very uncertain about her future. She felt her world had changed entirely, and probably her dreams cut short. Spiritually, the patient engaged in a lot of prayers and sought spiritual support, perhaps to give her hope that the situation would improve (Campbell, 2012). She also believed that through spiritual intervention, she would be able to cope with the pain.

Cultural Influence on Pain Response and Interpretation

Both patients and clinicians bring about pain beliefs to a clinical situation, affecting the care given. Different cultures have different assumptions about the nature of the pain experienced by people (Springer et al., 2018). Some acknowledge resistance to seeking treatment and failure to comply with treatment for some kinds of pain. Others even fail to accept responsibility for a treatment outcome. The decision about whether to express some private sorrow into the public depends on the cultural attitude of the pain as either normal or abnormal. Every cultural group has a unique language of pain through which ill people make others aware of their suffering. These are both verbal and nonverbal methods (NetCE, 2018). Some other cultures disvalue the display of emotions or verbal expressions in response to pain, while others expect the opposite.

The Clinical Experience and the Cultural Influence on the Response

The patient was not able to hold back the pain to herself. She lied profusely on the ground and could not walk on her own. She responded to my questions about her situation and how she felt since she was ready for help. She did not challenge my idea of taking her to the clinic for further care. She was very emotional and desperately needed help to get better (NetCE, 2018). However, she had not explained her situation to anyone, but upon telling her that I was a nurse practitioner, she expressed herself outrightly, probably believing in my ability to help.

The Patient, their Pain Response, and their Culture

The patient was a 70-year-old lady who was suffering from osteoarthritis. She was a bit secretive. She trusted me as a health practitioner. She was in deep pain as it reached a point where she could not even speak. She also cried in anguish as we tried to raise her. When the pain was very worse, she stopped walking and lied down desperately. She expressed her grief, both verbally and nonverbally, to those around her. The patient's culture allows a person to express their pain to those around them and probably seek medical help (Carteret,2011).

If the Patient is from a Different Belief System

If the patient were from a belief system that does not allow people to express their pain to others, it would have been difficult for her when the situation got worse (Narayan, 2010). Probably she would have tried her best to down-play the pain, but since it was too much on her, maybe she could have ended up conversing. Some cultures do not believe in treatment for specific pains (Carteret, 2011). If the woman were from such a culture, she would have refused to take the painkillers I administered before taking her to the hospital and thus worsening her pain experience. She would also have probably declined to seek medical attention if her culture dictated otherwise and thereby making her pain experience to prolong and maybe worsen with time.

Reviewing the CE Course

Adults experience pain as a result of various disorders associated with age, and the pain becomes unbearable as they advance in age. The good thing is that they can explain their pain more clearly depending on how their culture dictates as compared to children who may not even understand where specifically the pain is from (Narayan, 2010). Children will, however, tell of their illness to anyone since they rarely understand their culture. Patients, therefore, tend to experience and express their sorrow differently depending on their lifestyle and age. Adults tend to appreciate their learning more about pain than children, which explains why they express their grief differently from children.

What I Learnt About Pain Response Based on Intersection With Culture and Other Factors

People express their pain in different ways, depending on their cultural beliefs and attitudes. Some will represent themselves both verbally and nonverbally to anyone around concerning their pain, while others will just keep quiet (Springer et al., 2018). There is a group of cultural people who will never access treatment for certain types of pain, believing they are not worth it. Others will fail to take medication when they find themselves in situations where they are already treated without their knowledge (Carteret,2011). According to my assessment, I think my response to pain is related to a culture that allows people to express themselves but, on the other hand, does not regard some sort of shock as those that need treatment.


In conclusion, different patients describe their pain, depending on their cultural beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge. Some will entirely express themselves, while others will withhold their feelings altogether (NetCE, 2018). Some will deny medical attention, while others will seek it immediately. Nurses and other health practitioners need to understand that culture influences their patients’ ability to express their pain. They should know how they show their symptoms, attitudes, and beliefs that will help them manage their pain.


Campbell, C. M., & Edwards, R. R. (2012). Ethnic differences in pain and pain management. Pain Management 2(3), 219–230.

Carteret, M. (2011). Cultural aspects of pain management.

Martin, E. M., & Barkley Jr, T. W. (2016). Improving cultural competence in end-of-life pain management. Nursing2019, 46(1), 32-41.

Narayan, M.C. (2010). Culture’s effects on pain assessment and management. AJN, 110(4), 38-47. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000370157.33223.6dNetCE. (2018) The intersection of pain and culture.

Springer, S., Gleicher, H., & Hababou, H. (2018). Attitudes and beliefs about musculoskeletal pain and its association with pain neuroscience knowledge among physiotherapy students in Israel. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 7(1), 67.

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