The Latino Integrative Medical Group Visit as a Model for Pain Reduction in Underserved Spanish Speakers

J Altern Complement Med. 2018 Feb;24(2):125-131. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0132. Epub 2017 Sep 8.


Objectives: Chronic pain is a common problem in the United States, one for which there is a dearth of effective treatments. Nonpharmacological options are a promising alternative, especially for Spanish-speaking Latinos. This pilot study would like to assess the feasibility of an adapted Integrative Medical Group Visit (IMGV) curriculum for a Spanish-speaking Latino chronic pain population.

Design and intervention: We translated and adapted the curriculum of the IMGV for a Spanish-speaking Latino chronic pain population. We then tested the feasibility of using this model with two pilot groups (N = 19) using a pre-postdesign.

Subjects: This intervention was targeted for underserved Spanish-speaking Latino patients with chronic pain.

Settings/location: This study took place at a safety net academic teaching hospital, the Boston Medical Center, and at a community health center located in a majority Latino neighborhood, the East Boston Neighborhood Health Clinic.

Outcome measures: We used the validated Spanish translations of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS-29) (short version), Personal Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8), and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10). We also gathered qualitative information through focus groups and in-depth interviews.

Results: Using PROMIS measures, there was a statistically significant reduction in pain interference (p = 0.01), fatigue (p = 0.01), and depression (p = 0.01). Qualitative data also indicated the participants felt they benefited from the visits and having care in Spanish was unique.

Conclusions: This model offers a promising nonpharmacological option for Spanish-speaking patients with chronic pain and could offer an alternative for addressing disparities for this population.

Keywords: chronic pain; cultural adaptation; group medical visits; integrative medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Pain / therapy*
  • Cultural Competency
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Integrative Medicine / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Vulnerable Populations*