Assessing pain across the cultural gap: Central Australian Indigenous peoples' pain assessment

Contemp Nurse. 2006 Sep;22(2):218-27. doi: 10.5172/conu.2006.22.2.218.


Pain is a dynamic, unpleasant sensory experience with many physical, psychological, and social implications. Assessment of pain within a bicultural environment has the potential to cause ineffective pain management and unnecessary suffering amongst Indigenous people. It has been recognised that non-Indigenous nurses sometimes demonstrate culturally unsafe practices during the pain assessment process. These practices have arisen due to limited knowledge of what constitutes 'cultural safety' and how nurses can apply this concept during pain assessment. Culturally safe pain assessment strategies have been developed based upon research findings and through consultation with Indigenous people.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Caregivers
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Humans
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing*
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group*
  • Pain Measurement*