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APF Launches Pain Campaign for Hispanics

July 1, 2011

In June the American Pain Foundation (APF) announced its launch of “Explain Your Pain,” an educational campaign to promote better pain management for Hispanics. Research shows that minorities in the US have limited access to pain management services and treatments; have fewer opportunities to have their pain documented by healthcare providers; and receive fewer pain medications compared to other patient populations. Language barriers and cultural beliefs further contribute to the inequity.

“Cultural and social barriers may prevent Hispanics from complaining about their pain to physicians because some may consider it a sign of weakness or others may not understand the appropriate threshold when their pain should be considered chronic and serious,” said Ricardo Vallejo, MD, director of research at the Millennium Pain Center in Bloomington, IL. In a study of Hispanics and African Americans with cancer, 80% waited until their pain was a 10 on a 10-point scale before seeking help.

To remedy the situation, APF has published the brochure “Explain Your Pain” in English and Spanish to encourage communication between people in pain and their healthcare team. “We have found there is an increasing demand for Spanish-language resources that will educate Hispanic Americans about all aspects of chronic pain and also enable them to engage in productive dialogue with their healthcare provider,” said Will Rowe, APF CEO.

Access the brochure in Spanish or in English.

The American Pain Foundation is a nonprofit organization that educates, supports and advocates for people affected by pain. To find out more go