An exploration of the experience of pain among culturally diverse migrant communities

Bernadette Brady, Irena Veljanova, Lucinda Chipchase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: To explore the ethnocultural influences on the chronic pain experience in three culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Australia. Methods: Six focus groups were conducted with 34 women and 7 men (ages 36-74 years) who selfidentified as Mandaean, Assyrian or Vietnamese. A purposive sample of community-dwelling adults living with chronic pain (daily pain > 3 months) was recruited from community organizations. Participants were asked broadly about the meanings of chronic pain, acceptance, ethnocultural community expectations and approaches to pain management. A standardized interview collected sociodemographic and symptom data for descriptive purposes. Results: Inductive thematic analysis yielded a multidimensional web of themes interrelated with the pain experience. Themes of ethnocultural identity and migrant status were intertwined in the unique explanatory model of pain communicated for each community. The explanatory model for conceptualizing pain, namely biopsychosocial, biomedical or a traditional Eastern model, framed participants' approaches to health seeking and pain management. Conclusions: Chronic pain is theoretically conceptualized and experienced in diverse ways by migrant communities. Knowledge of cultural beliefs and values, alongside migration circumstances, may help providers deliver health care that is culturally responsive and thereby improve outcomes for migrant communities with chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalRheumatology Advances in Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'An exploration of the experience of pain among culturally diverse migrant communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this