Gaps in the Public's Knowledge About Chronic Pain: Representative Sample of Hispanic Residents From 5 States

Barbara J. Turner, Yuanyuan Liang, Natalia Rodriguez, Melissa A. Valerio, Andrea Rochat, Jennifer S. Potter, Paula Winkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Educating the general public about chronic pain and its care is a national health priority. We evaluated knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs (KAB) of a 5-state, population-based sample of Hispanic individuals aged 35 to 75 years without chronic pain, representing more than 8.8 million persons. A Web-based survey assessed KAB using an adapted version of the Survey of Pain Attitudes-Brief and self-reported knowledge about chronic pain (nothing, a little, a lot). In unweighted analyses of participants (N = 349), the mean age was 52.0 (±10.6) years, 54% were women, 53% preferred Spanish, and 39% did not graduate from high school. More participants reported knowing nothing about chronic pain (24%) than a lot (12%). In weighted logistic models with knowing nothing as the reference, knowing a lot was associated with greater KAB for chronic pain-related emotions, functioning, and cure (all P < .01) but poorer KAB about pain medications (P < .001). Associations were similar for those knowing a little. Men and women preferring Spanish had poorer KAB about pain medications than men preferring English (both P < .001). In view of Hispanic individuals’ disparities in chronic pain care, these data underscore the need for effective public educational campaigns about chronic pain. Perspective In this 5-state representative sample of Hispanic individuals without chronic pain, one-quarter reported knowing nothing about chronic pain and had poorer KAB about multiple aspects of this disease. This study reinforces the need to evaluate and address gaps in the general public's knowledge about chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-636
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pain
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Chronic pain
  • Hispanic
  • knowledge attitudes beliefs
  • representative sample

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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