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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


RODRIGUES, Catarina et al. Everyone with pain goes to the doctor, but only some do meditation: cross-cultural comparison USA vs Portugal. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2020, vol.21, n.1, pp.45-52. ISSN 1645-0086.

Chronic pain is a relevant health problem, with great personal and socialeconomic negative impact. Both chronic pain and its impact is influenced by biopsychosocial factors. Coping is one of the psychosocial factors most strongly associated with pain experience and with adjustment to chronic pain. In turn, both pain experience, and its meaning and pain coping strategies are known to be situationand culturally-determined. Thus, it is expectable that the way a person copes with pain varies from one circumstance to another, and across individuals with different cultural backgrounds. This exploratory study aims at exploring the similarities and differences between chronic pain patients from Portugal and from the USA in regards to their pain coping strategies. The study sample was composed by 21 (12 from Portugal, 9 from the USA) adults experiencing pain for at least 12 months, that participated in 4 focus groups (2 per country). The focus groups recording were transcribed and the transcriptions submitted to thematic analysis. There are many similarities (e.g. biomedical strategies, strategies related to physical movement), but also a few differences (e.g. use of psychoactive substances, yoga and meditation by participants from the USA only) in the way participants from both countries copied with pain. The results support the role of culture in influencing pain coping strategies of adults with chronic pain. Findings will be discussed in regards to their clinical and research implications.

Keywords : Chronic pain; Coping; Cross-cultural comparison; Thematic analysis.

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