Associate Professor Gwyn Lewis
Neurophysiologist, Department of Physiotherapy, Auckland University of Technology, NZ
Assoc Prof Gwyn Lewis is based in the Department of Physiotherapy at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT). She obtained a PhD in motor control from the University of Auckland in 2003 and had an extended post-doctoral experience undertaking research in motor control, rehabilitation, and neurophysiology at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Her current research focus is in acute and chronic pain, particularly around cultural aspects of pain, pain neurophysiology, and outcomes from pain management.
Chinese and Indian Views of Pain and Pain Management
The aim of this study was to review Indian and Chinese cultural views of pain and pain management, as a basis for improving management of chronic pain in migrant populations from these ethnicities. A systematic review of qualitative studies addressing pain beliefs and experiences involving Indian and Chinese participants was conducted. Thematic synthesis was used to identify themes across the studies. Twenty-six articles were included in the review. Five themes were identified: Making meaning of pain described the holistic interpretation of the meaning of pain; Pain is disabling and distressing described the marked physical, psychological, and spiritual impact of pain; Pain should be endured described the cultural expectation to suppress responses to pain; Pain brings strength and spiritual growth described the enrichment and empowerment experienced through living with pain, and Management of pain goes beyond a traditional or Western approach described the factors that guided people in their use of healthcare. The review identified a holistic interpretation and impact of pain in Indian and Chinese populations, with pain management guided by multiple factors that transcended a single cultural framework. Several strength-based management strategies are recommended based on preferences for traditional treatments and respect for Western healthcare.