Pain is a person’s private and unique experience, and no one except that person can know what their pain feels like.

There is a real dynamic relationship between the emotional and physical conditions of an individual and their experience of pain.

Long term pain puts stress on the brain which is revealed cognitive issues such as low mood, difficulty with memory or concentration, no matter what the underlying condition causing pain is.

Chronic pain and its psychological effects reduce quality of life, not only for the person with pain but for their family as well. In some cases, the psychological effects of pain outlives the pain itself and become the major health disorder. For instance, under-managed chronic pain may lead to less sleep, exhaustion, more stress, relationship and work problems and psychological distress so it is important to be able to intervene in this cycle to improve pain management and psychological welfare.

Pain can prevent people engaging with care that would improve their outcomes, and for each person the support they need is as unique as their experience of their pain.

Personalisation is essential when creating effective support programs for the patients.

We love the movie ‘Lost in Translation’ with Bill Murray, it really captures how things can go wrong and easily be misunderstood with differences in culture and language.

Running adherence programmes internationally requires a deep understanding of the role of culture and language. Cultural and language differences have a direct impact on how successful an adherence program will be. It is hard to be aware of every single aspect of each country’s culture from afar. That’s why we really do take this factor into account and have an international team in place to create effective programs efficiently.

It is good to remind ourselves that in life, communication is key to success. Being aware of cultural backgrounds is key to the adoption and use of programmes. Direct translation rarely effectively translates all intended meaning. This is also why we conduct research, because customer needs and demands, decision making, and social role views all varies by culture, and to understand the exact words and meaning ascribed to those words in the language and context the program will be
delivered.

We have yet to find a better way than using people who are native speakers of the language, have been immersed in the culture and are trained in the underpinning psychological constructs.