This paper reports on the findings of a pilot study that collated and categorised a range of Welsh-medium chronic pain descriptors and their conceptually equivalent English translations in order to provide a preliminary basis for chronic pain assessment amongst patients in the bilingual community of North West Wales. The results demonstrate the unique and complex nature of individual pain experiences and the challenges of meaningful interpretation, particularly when patient and practitioner do not share a common preferred language. Detailed analysis of the descriptors provided valuable insight into the patient's world, revealing cultural patterns of beliefs and behaviours as well as the suffering associated with chronic pain. Implications for improving chronic pain assessment amongst bilingual speakers are explored.
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