Neighborhood, Socioeconomic, and Racial Influence on Chronic Pain


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Abstract

The purpose of this review is to highlight the neighborhood, socioeconomic, and racial influences on chronic pain. Negative influences on the experience of chronic pain are explored and defined as any adverse stressor common in low socioeconomic, urban neighborhoods that potentially contributes to health disparity in African Americans experiencing chronic pain. The multifactorial influences on chronic pain disparity in African Americans are explored and expounded upon in this review of existing evidence. Databases used for the search included CINAHL, PubMed, and PsycArticles. The experience of chronic pain is multifaceted, existing with multiple comorbidities and lasting consequences. To improve the burden of chronic pain requires a multifactorial assessment that considers neighborhood risk factors, emphasis on environmental stressors, limitations to support networks, barriers to physical activity, and access to primary care providers with whom communication is open and without bias. A comprehensive assessment of barriers will aid in the development of interventions that reach beyond the physical factors of chronic pain, also considering the psychosocial barriers to improving the burden of chronic pain in African Americans living in impoverished urban neighborhoods.

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