Introduction: While researchers have studied Hmong patients with limited English proficiency in pain communication, no research has examined primary care providers’ (PCPs’) interpretation of Hmong pain communication. This study examines PCPs’ pain communication experience with Hmong patients. Method: A qualitative content analysis was conducted with PCPs. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using conventional content analysis. Results: Fifteen PCPs—including seven physicians, one osteopathic physician, four nurse practitioners, and three physician assistants—participated. PCPs’ interpretations of pain communication with Hmong patients were characterized by three themes: (a) the providers experienced pain communication problems related to language, (b) the providers perceived the Hmong to have different beliefs about pain, and (c) the providers used different strategies to improve communication. Discussion: The findings suggest that challenges are present in achieving effective pain communication between Hmong patients and their PCPs. Ineffective pain communication hinders the delivery of culturally congruent health care for Hmong patients.
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