There is black magic in Kosovo

Cultural interpretations of pain in family-oriented societies


Patients from different cultures, v. a. from family-oriented societies such as in the Near and Middle East, but also southern Italy or Greece, have a different understanding of pain and different ideas about healing, also in contact with the practitioner, than e.g. B. Patients from Western societies. The modern multimodal therapy approaches do not take this into account sufficiently so far. The experience of pain is not limited to one part of the body, but is viewed holistically in relation to the body. Patients' limited access to psychological complaints often leads to chronic pain or other physical complaints. In treatment and v. a. In the therapist-patient relationship, it is necessary to understand the importance of the pain felt in creating and experiencing interpersonal relationships. The sick body expresses the social, collective, economic, migration history, psychological and cultural condition of the patient. Therefore, when treating patients from traditional cultures, a multimodal, interdisciplinary and culture-sensitive approach is necessary for effective pain management.


Patients from different cultures, particularly from family-oriented societies, such as the Near and Middle East, southern Italy and Greece, have a different perception of pain and other healing expectations, even in contact with doctors, than for example patients in western societies. This aspect is not sufficiently taken into consideration by modern multimodal therapy approaches. The pain experienced is not limited to one part of the body but needs to be seen holistically in relation to the whole body. The limited access of patients to psychological complaints often leads to chronic pain or other physical complaints. For therapy and the therapist-patient relationship, it is essential to understand the significance of the pain experienced in the construction and experience of interpersonal relationships. The diseased body is an expression of the social, collective, economic, migrational history, mental and cultural state of mind of the patient; Therefore, in the treatment of patients from traditional cultures a multimodal, interdisciplinary and culturally sensitive approach is necessary for effective pain treatment.

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  1. Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University, Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse 30, 78054, Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany

    Prof. Dr. rer. nat., Dr. phil., Dipl.-Psych. J. I. Kizilhan

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Correspondence to Prof. Dr. rer. nat., Dr. phil., Dipl.-Psych. J. I. Kizilhan.

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J. I. Kizilhan states that there is no conflict of interest.

This article does not contain any studies on humans or animals carried out by the author.

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Kizilhan, J.I. Cultural interpretations of pain in family-oriented societies. pain30, 346-350 (2016).

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  • Understanding of pain
  • Cultural diversity
  • Doctor-patient relationship
  • Interpersonal relationship
  • Migrants


  • Pain perception
  • Cultural diversity
  • Physician patient relations
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Migrants