Cultural Competence for Today's Healthcare Professionals, Part 3 - OT400

Cultural Competence for Today's Healthcare Professionals, Part 3

The Cultural Factor in Pain Management

by Cynthia King, PhD, NP, MSN, FAAN
(4.3 / 1345 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Occupational Therapy (0.10 AOTA CEU)


Individual social, spiritual and physiological factors seem to influence the experience of pain. People experience pain differently even within the same cultural group by having more or less of a modulating substance, such as endorphins, within their physiological system. This could explain why the response to pain differs not only among people from different backgrounds but among those from the same ethnic group. There is also evidence that primary care providers underestimate pain severity in their minority patients. This continuing education module helps healthcare professionals become familiar with cultural differences associated with pain perceptions and pain management. 


The goal of this continuing education program is to emphasize the important role that culture plays in patients’ display of pain and healthcare professionals’ assessment and management of it. The program also addresses the regulatory requirements from The Joint Commission relative to pain management. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
  • Describe how culture can influence a patient’s expression of pain and pain tolerance
  • Discuss how cultural background affects a healthcare professional’s response to and management of pain
  • Relate strategies for conducting cultural and pain assessments to identify and to respond to a patient’s pain in a culturally appropriate manner
Content Level: Intermediate
Instructional Method: Online Course — Narrative
Content Focus
Domain of OT: Activity Demands
Occupational Therapy Process: Intervention
Professional Issues: Contemporary Issues and Trends

Accreditation Information
This course is intended for multiple professions, including nurses, physicians, occupational therapists.
Occupational therapists: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
For the version accredited or approved for another profession, go to your specific profession at or If you have a CE Direct login ID and password (generally provided by your employer), please log in as you normally would at and search for this topic title.
Relias LLC, is an approved provider of continuing education for occupational therapists by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Provider #4000. AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.
OnCourse Learning is also accredited by the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy (provider # FBN 50-1489).