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Cancer Nurs. 2006 Nov-Dec;29(6):441-50; quiz 451-2.

White cancer patients' perception of gender and ethnic differences in pain experience.

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School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin, 1700 Red River, Austin, TX 78701, USA.


Not considering cancer patients' own views and experience with pain, especially gender and ethnic differences in their cancer pain experience, was reported to be a major contributor to the miscommunication that frequently results in inadequate cancer pain management. The purpose of this study was to explore white cancer patients' perception of gender and ethnic differences in pain experience through an online forum. This was a descriptive qualitative study among 29 white cancer patients based on a feminist approach. Nine topics related to cancer pain experience were used. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis: 5 themes were identified. First, the participants perceived that pain accompanies cancer throughout the diagnosis and treatment process. Second, the specific characteristics of the participants' individual culture and their view of pain and cancer could result in different cancer pain experiences even among white cancer patients. Third, the participants complained that women's pain was not taken seriously by healthcare providers. Fourth, the participants reported highly individualized pain experience with emotional pain. Finally, the participants wanted to have a control of their own pain management process. Based on the findings, implications for nursing research and practice are proposed.

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