The Intersections of Chronic Noncancer Pain: Culturally Diverse Perspectives on Disease Burden

Bernadette Brady, Irena Veljanova, Lucinda Chipchase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study highlights the burden of chronic non-cancer-related pain from the perspectives of three culturally and linguistically diverse communities, using an intersectionality analysis. Specifically, we identify how multiple social identities intersect to account for the unequal distribution of the burden of chronic pain. Design and methods: Six focus groups of 41 culturally and linguistically diverse participants (Mandaean, Assyrian, and Vietnamese) living with chronic noncancer pain were conducted in South-West Sydney, Australia, between February and July 2015. Data were analyzed using inductive and intersectional methodology. Results: The interaction between a patient with chronic pain from a culturally and linguistically diverse background and the health system is influenced by four identified social identities that interact to create relative positions of disadvantage for the patient within the health system and with health care providers. The social identities identified were ethnoculture, social class, migration status, and gender. Conclusions: Health care providers must consider how the intersectionality of social identities related to ethnoculture, social class, migration status, and gender can factor into the creation and maintenance of chronic pain disparities. A greater, more thoughtful incorporation of intersectionality in chronic pain research and clinical practice will ensure that pain management approaches are designed and applied in a way that reflects the social context of affected communities and individuals from those communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-445
Number of pages12
JournalPain medicine (Malden, Mass.)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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