The State-of-"Cultural Validity" of Self-Report Pain Assessment Tools in Diverse Older Adults.

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Pain Med

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Pain Medicine (Malden, Mass.)

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


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BACKGROUND: Pain continues to be a significant problem for older adults worldwide and a challenge for health care clinicians and researchers in assuring accurate identification and tailored treatment approaches. Attention has been devoted in recent years to development of pain assessment tools that are reliable and valid for use with older adults, including self-report scales and pain observation tools.

METHODS AND DESIGN: This integrative review examines face, content, and construct validity relative to the research development, linguistic translation, and clinical implementation of self-report pain assessment tools in culturally diverse older adults.

RESULTS: Many self-report pain assessment tools have not been tested and validated in many older adults of diverse cultures. As a result, self-report tools are limited in their accuracy and ability to capture the cultural distinctions that impact pain intensity ratings.

CONCLUSION: The multiculturalism of health care and the use of existing pain assessment tools globally require that clinicians and researchers consider tool validity that incorporates the individual's cultural system in order to provide quality pain assessment. This article addresses one aspect of tool development and application across populations, the validation of self-report pain assessment tools for culturally diverse older adults. Recommendations for each the research and clinician are provided to assist in development, translation, and use of various self-report pain assessment tools.

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