Several plausible reasons for inadequate cancer pain management among Hispanic patients with cancer in the U.S. have been postulated; however, this issue is understudied.
The purpose of the study was to explore Hispanic patients' cancer pain experience from a feminist perspective in order to find explanations for inadequate pain management for Hispanic patients with cancer.
A qualitative online forum study.
Both Internet and community settings.
15 Hispanic patients with cancer recruited using a convenience sampling method.
A 6-month online forum was conducted using nine discussion topics, and the data were processed using a thematic analysis.
Phenomenon of Interest:
Cancer Pain Experience
Four major themes emerged: lack of communication with health care providers regarding undermedication; because of traditional gender roles guiding their behaviors, both women and men were enduring pain; participants placed the highest priority on family during the diagnosis and treatment process, thus setting aside their needs for pain management; finally, participants were enduring inconvenience and unfair treatment in the U.S. health care system while simultaneously appreciating what treatment they had been given.
Because of cultural factors and marginalized status in the U.S. as Hispanics and as immigrants, most of the participants could not adequately describe and manage their pain.
Findings suggest a need for further investigation of the influences of multiple factors, including financial issues, cultural norms, and gender stereotypes, on cancer pain experience among diverse subgroups of Hispanic patients with cancer.
Because of their Hispanic identity or immigrant status in the U.S., financial difficulties, language barriers, and cultural values placing family as the highest priority, most of the Hispanic participants of this study could not adequately describe and manage their pain.
Because of traditional gender roles emphasizing machismo, Hispanic men rarely complained about their pain.
Due to cultural traditions emphasizing women's obedience and obligation to sacrifice for their families, Hispanic women were also enduring pain while fulfilling their multiple roles and responsibilities.
Because of familism, Hispanic patients with cancer placed the highest priority on family while managing cancer pain.