Pain Perspectives in Thai Chronic Pain Patients

Main Article Content

Thipawan Ruangrit


 Background: Using a western-adapted pain interview questionnaire in Thai context leads to confusion and misunderstanding. In addition, pain experience in Thai chronic pain patients has been investigated by very few qualitative studies. This study was aimed to reveal 1) pain descriptor and 2) pain experience in Thai.

Methods: A qualitative study was conducted at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital. Chronic-pain patients were purposefully invited for participation. Collecting data was by in-depth interviews guided by prepared probe questions. Content analysis was applied.

Results: Four categories were abstracted from 9 patients’ data. 1) Pain descriptor; there were unique and eccentric Thai words to represent their pain perceptions. However, serious severity of pain was described by the Thai word meant as ‘suffering’ and ‘unable to withstand’. 2) Pain resolve; all patients agreed that intravenous opioid was effective. On the contrary, they revealed ineffective pain management which caused by ordering 4-hour interval of drug administration and using pain score for assessment. 3) Adaptation; all patients have already coped with their pains. The common coping strategy was an attempt to ignore the existing pain. As a result of having free time with no pain, they had their consciences to develop their coping strategies. 4) Cultural and social involvement; common Thai culture ‘it needs to be patient with pain’ leads patients to be easily in pain acceptance phase. It was also facilitated by a medical culture of ‘pain-killer drugs are not good for health’. Thai-culture social support is an importantfactor to facilitate coping with pain.

Conclusion: Thai chronic pain patients’ descriptions of pain are eccentric and imagery. Individual interview is more effective than using structured pain questionnaire to collect information. The Thai word meant as “suffering” should be used for pain severity evaluation.

Article Details

Original articles


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