A review of the literature on care of clients in pain who are culturally diverse

Int Nurs Rev. 2004 Mar;51(1):47-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-7657.2003.00208.x.


Aim: This article reviews the literature on the care of clients from diverse cultures who are in pain and provides strategies for care.

Background: Pain is a critical concept for caring for clients and particularly for clients from another culture. Culture shapes the values, beliefs, norms, and practices of individuals, including the ways persons react to pain. Culture affects the assessment and management of pain.

Conclusions: Seven strategies can assist in culturally appropriate assessment and management of pain: (1) utilize assessment tools to assist in measuring pain, (2) appreciate variations in affective response to pain, (3) be sensitive to variations in communication styles, (4) recognize that communication of pain may not be acceptable within a culture, (5) appreciate that the meaning of pain varies between cultures, (6) utilize knowledge of biological variations, and (7) develop personal awareness of values and beliefs which may affect responses to pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Humans
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nursing Assessment* / methods
  • Pain Measurement* / nursing
  • Pain* / ethnology
  • Pain* / nursing
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Transcultural Nursing / methods