Living with Chronic Pain

Tips for Finding a Culturally Competent Pain Specialist


Cultural competence of health care providers is an essential aspect of pain management. Ensuring culturally appropriate care and encouraging cultural competence in pain management is important.

Tips to find a culturally competent pain specialist include the following:

  • Inquire if an interpreter is available at the health care facility. Even if their services are not needed, the availability of an interpreter, or the lack thereof, provides insight into a health care provider’s cultural competence.
  • Seek out practices that have culturally competent patient navigators. These individuals can significantly improve the quality of care for individuals with specific cultural needs.
  • If a care provider shows disrespect or does not take pain seriously, address the issue with the care provider. If an appropriate response is not given or action is not taken, find another provider who shows more respect and concern.
  • Consider joining or starting a support or advocacy group. Minority-focused chronic pain groups provide support to their members as well as feedback to healthcare providers. Advocacy groups can help create meaningful change to eradicate health care disparities, including those for individuals with chronic pain.

These tips can improve care for individuals with chronic pain and encourage health care providers to become more culturally competent.

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