Enhancing Cancer Pain Control among American Indians (ECPCAI): a study of the Ojibwe of Minnesota

J Cancer Educ. Spring 1999;14(1):28-33. doi: 10.1080/08858199909528570.


Background and objectives: This study addressed one American Indian group's experience with cancer, its associated pain, and the resulting barriers in cancer pain management (CPM).

Methods: The project researched the identified problems and implemented solutions. Focus groups at four reservations with clinic personnel and tribal elders reviewed culturally specific experiences and barriers to CPM. Culturally sensitive brochures for patients and guidelines for providers were developed, and health care providers participated in CME sessions.

Results: Ojibwe elders report pain when it is >6 (1-10 scale), believe pain always accompanies cancer, and do not believe it can be relieved, although traditional healers can help. They also have addiction concerns. Developed materials changed knowledge (pre-post tests, p = 0.000) and are culturally sensitive (> 92% agreement).

Conclusion: Medically sound CPM for this population can also be culturally sensitive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility / standards
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / education*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Needs Assessment
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Program Evaluation