Descriptions of joint pain by American Indians: Comparison of inflammatory and noninflammatory arthritis
Version of Record online: 5 APR 2002
Copyright © 2002 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Volume 47, Issue 2, pages 149–154, April 2002
How to Cite
Kramer, B. J., Harker, J. O. and Wong, A. L. (2002), Descriptions of joint pain by American Indians: Comparison of inflammatory and noninflammatory arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 47: 149–154. doi: 10.1002/art.10325
- Issue online: 5 APR 2002
- Version of Record online: 5 APR 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 JUL 2001
- Manuscript Received: 17 APR 2001
- Arthritis Foundation, Southern California Chapter
- Veterans Affairs, Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center and Nursing Home
- American Indians;
To improve assessment of arthritis joint pain in American Indians by describing how symptoms are communicated.
In-depth interviews were conducted with American Indians who experience chronic joint pain (n = 56), to elicit descriptions and self-reported ratings of pain, disability, and beliefs associated with the pain for affected joints (n = 326).
Discrete sets of specific verbal descriptions distinguished inflammatory arthritis (n = 20 terms) from noninflammatory arthritis (n = 22 terms), and indicated levels of pain intensity. An additional set of 14 vague but commonly used verbal descriptors did not distinguish the type of joint disease or pain intensity.
Subtle pain complaints and vague verbal descriptions, such as “ache,” “hurt,” and “discomfort,” may reflect severe pain symptoms, disability, and more serious joint disease in American Indian patients. In addition, certain specific sensory descriptions used by American Indians suggest inflammatory arthritis and may warrant further evaluation.