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      Effects of acculturation, coping strategies, locus of control, and self-efficacy on chronic pain: study of Chinese immigrant women in Italy – insights from a thematic field analysis

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          Chronic pain represents a common public health concern worldwide. It is a complex phenomenon, owing to the interaction of different factors, including biological, physiological, psychological, environmental, and social variables. Some groups, such as women and immigrants, are particularly vulnerable. However, little is known about how Chinese women in Italy live with and face chronic pain. The present study aimed at filling this knowledge gap by examining the burden of chronic pain in Chinese immigrants in Italy in terms of acculturation processes, perceived control over disease, social networks, and coping strategies. A qualitative approach was used, performing a thematic field analysis. We interviewed 82 Chinese women from different Italian towns (Genoa, Milan, Turin, Bologna, Florence, and Prato) in depth. The sense of belonging to the host culture was strong in our sample. However, this did not simply reflect or translate into a linear engagement with medical systems, as health care pathways were more complex and dual (both Chinese and Western). Chinese women who felt deeply rooted in the Italian environment did not discontinue the use of traditional Chinese medicine. Chronic pain extensively and adversely affected daily life, particularly interfering with work. Coping strategies were mainly adaptive behaviors, being problem focused or maladaptive, relying upon “cope and avoid” mechanisms. Chinese women preferred to use traditional Chinese remedies rather than conventional medicine, while using the Italian system in emergencies. Perceived control over chronic pain was usually external. Finally, Chinese women with chronic pain benefit from social networks and support, which were mainly composed of Chinese peers. In conclusion, our findings underline the tremendous burden of chronic pain affecting all aspects of Chinese women’s lives. Health care workers and providers should be aware of the complexity of chronic pain Therefore, a holistic approach, involving different stakeholders, should be adopted when managing chronic pain and approaching immigrant patients.

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          Most cited references 41

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          Because there is increasing concern about low-back disability and its current medical management, this analysis attempts to construct a new theoretic framework for treatment. Observations of natural history and epidemiology suggest that low-back pain should be a benign, self-limiting condition, that low back-disability as opposed to pain is a relatively recent Western epidemic, and that the role of medicine in that epidemic must be critically examined. The traditional medical model of disease is contrasted with a biopsychosocial model of illness to analyze success and failure in low-back disorders. Studies of the mathematical relationship between the elements of illness in chronic low-back pain suggest that the biopsychosocial concept can be used as an operational model that explains many clinical observations. This model is used to compare rest and active rehabilitation for low-back pain. Rest is the commonest treatment prescribed after analgesics but is based on a doubtful rationale, and there is little evidence of any lasting benefit. There is, however, little doubt about the harmful effects--especially of prolonged bed rest. Conversely, there is no evidence that activity is harmful and, contrary to common belief, it does not necessarily make the pain worse. Experimental studies clearly show that controlled exercises not only restore function, reduce distress and illness behavior, and promote return to work, but actually reduce pain. Clinical studies confirm the value of active rehabilitation in practice. To achieve the goal of treating patients rather than spines, we must approach low-back disability as an illness rather than low-back pain as a purely physical disease. We must distinguish pain as a purely the symptoms and signs of distress and illness behavior from those of physical disease, and nominal from substantive diagnoses. Management must change from a negative philosophy of rest for pain to more active restoration of function. Only a new model and understanding of illness by physicians and patients alike makes real change possible.
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              The burden of chronic pain: a cross-sectional survey focussing on diseases, immigration, and opioid use.

              Chronic pain is currently considered a public health problem with high costs to the individual and society. To improve prevention and treatment of chronic pain, epidemiologic studies are mandatory for assessing chronic pain. The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of chronic pain in the adult Danish population and to analyze associated factors such as diseases, immigration, and opioid use. This cross-sectional survey combines individual-based information from the Danish Health Survey (2010) and official Danish health and socioeconomic, individual-based registers. The simple random sample consisted of 25,000 individuals (≥16 years old) living in Denmark. In all, 60.7% completed a mailed or online questionnaire. Associations were examined with multiple logistic regression analysis. The study population consisted of 14,925 individuals in whom a high prevalence of chronic pain (26.8%, 95% confidence interval: 26.1 to 27.5) and a high prevalence of opioid consumption (4.5%) were observed. Other aspects of particular note: (1) a higher prevalence of chronic pain occurred among individuals with cardiovascular and chronic pulmonary diseases than among individuals with cancer; and (2) individuals with a non-Western background reported a higher pain prevalence, higher pain intensities, and more widespread pain than individuals with Danish background; however, opioids were more frequently used by native Danes. The prevalence of chronic pain as well as opioid use in Denmark are alarmingly high, and the relevance of opioid consumption is unknown. Copyright © 2012 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                06 June 2017
                : 10
                : 1383-1390
                [1 ]UNESCO Chair “Health Anthropology, Biosphere and Healing Systems”, Genoa, Italy
                [2 ]Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), School of Public Health, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
                [3 ]Department of Sociology, Metropolitan Autonomous University-Iztapalapa, San Rafael Atlixco, Mexico
                [4 ]Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany
                [5 ]Medical Faculty, University of Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
                [6 ]Laboratory of Anthropology and Cognitive and Social Psychology (LAPCOS), University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France
                [7 ]Faculty of Literature and Humanistic Studies, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez, Morocco
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Tania Simona Re, UNESCO Chair “Health Anthropology, Biosphere and Healing Systems”, Via Balbi, 5, 16126, Genoa, Italy, Tel +39 10 209 9745x5987, Email tania.re77@ 123456gmail.com
                Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), School of Public Health, University of Genoa, Via Antonio Pastore 1, Genoa 16132, Italy, Tel +39 01 0353 7664, Fax +39 01 0353 7669, Email robertobragazzi@ 123456gmail.com
                © 2017 Re et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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