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Cancer Nurs. 2008 May-Jun;31(3):E17-23. doi: 10.1097/01.NCC.0000305730.95839.83.

Asian American cancer patients' pain experience.

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School of Nursing, The University of Texas, Austin, TX78701, USA.


Asians have been reported to rarely complain about pain and to delay seeking help until pain becomes severe. Even in Asian countries, cancer pain has been reported to be underestimated and inadequately managed. Despite these findings, very little is still known about Asian American cancer patients' pain experience. The purpose of this study was to explore Asian American cancer patients' pain experience using a 6-month online forum among 27 Asian American cancer patients. Nine online forum topics on cancer pain experience were used for the data collection. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Three themes emerged through the data analysis process: (a) "pain is a natural thing," (b) "keep things as usual," and (c) "mind is over body." Asian American cancer patients considered pain as their bodies' spontaneous reactions to cancer that could not be avoided. They believed that it was very important to keep things as usual so that they could have a sense of being normal again. The participants thought that cancer and pain could be overcome through positive thinking. The findings suggest more in-depth cultural studies on pain experience among diverse subethnic groups of Asian American cancer patients.

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