Practice recommendations for pain assessment by self-report with African American older adults

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Despite decades of education and clinical practice guidelines underscoring disparities in pain management, pain continues to be inadequately managed in older African American adults as a result of patient, provider, and systems factors. Critical factors influencing pain assessment in older African American adults has not been extensively examined, contributing to a lack of data to inform health care providers' knowledge on culturally-responsive pain assessment in older African Americans. Assessing pain in older African Americans is unique because differences in language, cultural beliefs, and practices moderate how they report and express pain. This paper presents an overview of patient-provider factors that affect pain assessment in older African Americans with a focus on this population's unique cultural beliefs and practices. Recommendations for best practices for performance of a culturally-responsive pain assessment with older African Americans are provided.

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