NEW YORK, June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Pain Foundation (APF) today announced the launch of "Explain Your Pain," an educational initiative designed to help educate Hispanic Americans about chronic pain and foster improved dialogue between people with pain and their health care providers. A growing body of research demonstrates that minorities, including Hispanics, are less likely to have access to pain management services and treatments, have their pain documented by health care providers or receive pain medications compared to other patient populations. Many Hispanic Americans are further burdened by language barriers and cultural beliefs about pain.
Results from the Chronic Pain in America survey estimate that 9 percent of adult Americans suffer from moderate to severe non-cancer related chronic pain.Chronic pain is ongoing or recurrent pain that lasts beyond the usual course of an acute illness or injury or more than three to six months, and negatively affects a person's well-being.If untreated or undertreated, pain can negatively impact a person's quality of life and make daily activities difficult. There can be physical and emotional impacts from chronic pain.Unfortunately, many people with pain are uncomfortable acknowledging and accepting their condition, and therefore fail to discuss the topic with their health care provider.
For Hispanic Americans, cultural biases may compound their attitude about pain and ultimately impact their treatment. In one study of Hispanics and African Americans with cancer pain, 80 percent of patients waited until their pain severity was a 10 on a 10-point scale before calling their oncology clinic or health care provider.
"With a significant percentage of Hispanic Americans living in New York, the need to address the disparities in healthcare among cultures has become increasingly important from a public health standpoint," explained Oscar de Leon-Casaola, M.D., professor and chief of pain medicine, Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; and professor and vice-chair for clinic affairs, Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo. "With the launch of 'Explain Your Pain,' Hispanics in New York will have access to information about chronic pain written in Spanish that may help open the lines of communication with their healthcare providers."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 50.5 million Hispanics living in the United States and they are the largest growing ethnic group in the country. In New York City, Hispanics account for 27 percent of the population.
"We have found there is an increasing demand for Spanish-language resources that will educate Hispanic Americans about all aspects of chronic pain and also enable them to engage in productive dialogue with their health care provider," said Will Rowe, chief executive officer of APF. "Educational resources written in Spanish are available about other conditions that are common among Hispanics, but there is very little information in Spanish regarding pain and pain management."
At the centerpiece of "Explain Your Pain" is a brochure, available in both Spanish and English, which is designed to help promote an effective dialogue between people with pain and their health care providers. The brochure can be downloaded at www.painfoundation.org/explainyourpain (English) or www.painfoundation.org/describasudolor (Spanish). It is also available at select health care provider offices nationwide and at events sponsored by the American Pain Foundation.
Pain is complex and varies with each individual, so it's important that people with pain work closely with their health care providers to understand all aspects of their pain. A treatment plan should meet a person's specific condition, needs and lifestyle.
"Explain Your Pain" is made possible with support from Endo Pharmaceuticals.
Founded in 1997, the American Pain Foundation (APF) is an independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that serves people affected by pain. APF speaks out for people living with pain, caregivers, health care providers and allied organizations, working together to dismantle the barriers that impede access to quality pain care for all. The mission of APF is to educate, support and advocate for people affected by pain. For more information, visit www.painfoundation.org.
About Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Endo Pharmaceuticals is a U.S.-based, specialty healthcare solutions company, focused on high-value branded products and specialty generics. Endo is redefining its position in the healthcare marketplace by anticipating and embracing the evolution of health decisions based on the need for high-quality and cost effective care. We aim to be the premier partner to healthcare professionals and payment providers, delivering an innovative suite of complementary diagnostics, drugs, devices and clinical data to meet the needs of patients in areas such as pain, urology, oncology and endocrinology. For more information about Endo Pharmaceuticals, and its wholly owned subsidiary HealthTronics, Inc., please visit www.endo.com.