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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar 11



Pain experiences of Hindi-speaking Indian migrants in Sydney: a qualitative study.


Rajan P, Hiller CE, Leaver A, Dennis S, Refshauge K, Brady B
Physiotherapy. 2022 Mar 11; 116:25-32.
PMID: 35462215.


Cultural beliefs and values are increasingly understood to influence the experience of pain, health-seeking, and pain management behaviours. Research exploring cultural beliefs about pain is particularly needed for Indian migrants, who have a high prevalence of pain and are among the largest migrant communities in Australia and internationally. The objective of this study was to explore pain-related beliefs and coping strategies of Hindi-speaking Indian migrants with chronic back pain living in Sydney. Indian migrants (n = 26) completed a demographic survey, standardised pain questionnaires (RMDQ, PSEQ and BBQ) and participated in one of five focus group discussions. This cohort had low levels of disability: Mean (SD) [RMDQ 5.04 (3.2)], high self-efficacy [PSEQ 44.6 (8.8)], and relatively positive beliefs about back pain [BBQ 28.6 (4.4)]. Three categories of interconnected beliefs emerged from the focus groups: causative, treatment/coping-related, and prognostic beliefs underpinned by a core cultural belief in 'the philosophy of Karma'. Within this core philosophy, three cultural values were central to the experience of pain and the construction of pain-related beliefs: collectivism and contribution, gendered roles, and mind-body wellness. The incorporation of holistic approaches to back pain management with an emphasis on mindfulness, exercise, and physical activity aligned with family-oriented goals could be considered for management of chronic back pain among Indian migrant communities. CONTRIBUTION OF THE PAPER.