Online Program

Factors Influencing South Asians' Attitudes toward Pain Management at End of Life

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Nidhi Khosla, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Sciences, School of Health Professions, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Karla Washington, PhD, LCSW, Family and Community Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Objectives To investigate South Asians attitudes towards pain management and the factors underlying such attitudes

Methods A multi-method qualitative study employing 23 semi-structured interviews and four focus group discussions with healthcare providers such as physicians, social workers, chaplains, nurses and others (physician’s assistant, administrator, ethics consultant) with experience planning for or providing end-of-life care to South Asian patients and families

Results A thematic analysis of focus group and interview data identified a single, overarching theme: Providers perceived South Asian patients and families to be generally reluctant to use medications to treat pain experienced at end of life. A detailed description of patient-related and culturally-based reasons for this reluctance is provided along with implications for practice in hospice and palliative care.

Conclusions While there was no consensus, respondents overwhelmingly indicated that South Asians are reluctant to use pain medication. Future research should further investigate reasons for such reluctance. Interventions should be targeted at this demographic to increase education about pain management and culturally appropriate ways to manage pain investigated.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss reservations South Asians may have towards pain management Explain main reasons for South Asians' reluctance to use pain medication Identify areas for future research in order to serve this growing population's needs

Keyword(s): Aging, Asian Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceptualized this study, collected data and analyzed it. I have previously worked in South Asia and published a paper in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on South Asians’ preferences around end of life care. I have an MPH and PhD in Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.