Pain Management Among Dominican Patients With Advanced Osteoarthritis: A Qualitative Study
CitationYu, Amy. 2018. Pain Management Among Dominican Patients With Advanced Osteoarthritis: A Qualitative Study. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Medical School.
AbstractBackground: Advanced osteoarthritis and total joint replacement (TJR) recovery are painful experiences and often prompt opioid use in developed countries. Physicians participating in the philanthropic medical mission Operation Walk Boston (OpWalk) to the Dominican Republic have observed that Dominican patients require substantially less opioid medication following TJR than US patients. We conducted a qualitative study to investigate approaches to pain management and expectations for postoperative recovery in patients with advanced arthritis undergoing TJR in the Dominican Republic.
Methods: We interviewed 20 patients before TJR about their pain coping mechanisms and expectations for postoperative pain management and recovery. Interviews were conducted in Spanish, translated, and analyzed in English using content analysis.
Results: Patients reported modest use of pain medications and limited knowledge of opioids, and many relied on non-pharmacologic therapies and family support to cope with pain. They held strong religious beliefs that offered them strength to cope with chronic arthritis pain and prepare for acute pain following surgery. Patients exhibited a great deal of trust in powerful others, expecting God and doctors to cure their pain through surgery.
Conclusion: We note the importance of understanding a patient’s individual pain coping mechanisms and identifying strategies to support these coping behaviors in pain management. Such an approach has the potential to reduce the burden of chronic arthritis pain while limiting reliance on opioids, particularly for patients who do not traditionally utilize powerful analgesics.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41973528