A comparison of pain perception between elderly African-Americans and Caucasians
Review TypeNone: Degree-based Submission
Repository Posting Date2020-07-31T20:48:16Z
Author(s)Johnson-Umezulike, Janice M.
Author DetailsDr. Janice M. Johnson-Umezulike, DNS, RN
Lead Author Sigma AffliationEpsilon Nu
Level of EvidenceOther
Research ApproachQuantitative Research
This study explored the differences and similarities in pain perception reported in elderly African Americans and elderly Caucasian subjects by addressing the question of whether ethno-cultural background of clients affect their pain perception. The literature was reviewed in the areas of cultural influences on pain perception, the elderly and pain perception, the association of pain perception to past experiences, and the meaning of pain. The Gate Control Pain Theory emphasizing the role of psychological variables in pain perception and behavioral responses to pain was the basis of the theoretical framework (Melzack & Wall, 1965). The sample consisted of 64 elderly subjects--32 African Americans and 32 Caucasian subjects--who were interviewed at a clinic in the Southwestern part of the United States (May-July, 1997). The McGill-Melzack Pain Questionnaire was administered to clients volunteering to be in the study. Descriptive statistics were computed on socio-demographic items as well as on the characteristics of pain perception described by the subjects. African American subjects were 34.4% males and 65.6% females; and Caucasian subjects were 31.2% males and 68.8% females. The age of the subjects ranged from 61 years to 92 years old, The mean age for African Americans was 69 years and 70 years for Caucasians. The study revealed that both groups chose the word Nagging most frequently to describe their pain. A 2 x 2 analysis of variance was used to determine the impact of ethnicity and gender on pain perception as well as the interactive impact of ethnicity and gender on pain perception. There was a statistically significant difference between elderly African American and elderly Caucasian subjects in terms of the present pain intensity (PPI) (F = 6.30, df = 1, p =.015), establishing that these two ethnic groups differed in PPI. However, the respondents' gender did not significantly affect their PPI. Pearson's Product Moment Correlation was used to evaluate the strength of the relationship between ethnicity, gender, present pain intensity (PPI) and pain rating index (PRI). There was a moderate correlation (r =.36, p =.01) between present pain intensity (PPI) and ethnicity. The study indicated cultural universality as well as cultural diversity in pain perception between elderly African Americans and elderly Caucasian subjects. These findings further serve as the basis for understanding this culturally diverse groups of clients.
DescriptionThis dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 9823372; ProQuest document ID: 304407574. The author still retains copyright.
Degree GrantorLouisiana State University
NotesThis item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
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