Pain Expression in the Perioperative Period: Insights from a Focus Group of Somali Women

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In recent years, the number of Somali persons treated in the U.S. has increased significantly. Understanding the concepts of pain and pain expression is an important aspect of nursing care. However, pain expression within this specific cultural group has not been extensively studied. This study, guided by core concepts from Margaret Newman's theory of Health as Expanding Consciousness used a focus group design to evaluate the concepts of pain expression within this population. The results of this study provide insight into how Somali women express pain, using verbal and nonverbal communication, and reveal other dynamics that are interconnected with the pain experience. The results show that pain expression for Somali women include verbal expressions that may be unique to the Somali culture. The results are helpful in developing a tool that can be used by others working with Somali women who are experiencing pain. Implications for improving transcultural nursing care, including pain assessment, management, and patient education are summarized.

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