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How do Thai Patients Cope with Pain?

thai patients cope with painHow do Thai patients receiving haemodialysis (HD) cope with pain? Researchers conducted face-to-face interviews with 20 participants receiving HD to find out methods of managing physical pain, psychological pain and social pain.

While pain affected both physical and spiritual well-being of Thai people receiving HD, the results suggest that they combated it with health-adjustment and health-behaviours. The researches asked patients various open-ended questions in Thai language to describe affect of haemodialysis in their life, their experience of pain and the way the manage it in order to explore various approaches they cope with pain. The findings also indicates that their coping styles were heavily influenced by Thai culture.

Their coping strategies of health-adjustment and health-behaviours mainly include “religion, spirituality, accepting pain associated with HD treatment and social support.” In order to relieve their pain, both Muslim & Buddhist participants explored how to mitigate their sins or bad karma as they believed that their pain was the result of sins or bad karma. Buddhist participants prayed, chanted and made merits to relieve or divert pain while Muslims prayed to Allah to result the same.

In addition, the patients accept pain due to treatment such as needle insertion as an action to save their life. Thus, they “eventually became more tolerant and accepting of pain.” The spiritual support from family members also played an important role for the patients to cope with their pain.

This research aimed to help nurses to understand more details about how Thai people manage pain as nurses can improve their pain assessment and management skills when they understand “the importance of cultural beliefs to their pain experience and coping strategies”.

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