Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Regardless Of Race, Pain Feels Pretty Much The Same; But Study Confirms Gender Differences

Date:
March 30, 2004
Source:
University Of Calgary
Summary:
A new study that measures pain sensitivities among Whites and African-Americans suggests assessment procedures may be to blame for reported racial differences in the amount of pain experienced.

A new study that measures pain sensitivities among Whites and African-Americans suggests assessment procedures may be to blame for reported racial differences in the amount of pain experienced.

Previous research and anecdotal clinical evidence have suggested that African-Americans tend to be more sensitive to pain than Whites, but the latest research study shows the two groups simply interpret standard pain rating scales differently. The new study also confirms earlier findings that women are more sensitive to pain than men.

University of Calgary psychologist Dr. Tavis Campbell led the research project while at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. The results are being published in the April issue of the medical journal, The Journal of Pain.

"Many pain medications are addictive and have unpleasant side effects, so it's important for physicians to be able to understand exactly how much pain their patients are experiencing," Campbell says. "This research supports well-established findings of slightly higher sensitivity to pain among women compared to men, but revealed no differences between Whites and African-Americans."

Campbell and his research colleagues tested 135 men and women aged 25-45, a group that included 72 African-Americans and 59 women. Researchers inflated a blood pressure cuff on each subject's arm and left it inflated for several minutes, creating an aching sensation not unlike many clinical pains. The participants were then asked to rate their pain according to standard pain rating scales, which measure both the unpleasantness and intensity of the sensation.

Pain rating scales use terms ranging from 'neutral' to 'very intolerable' for the unpleasantness of the sensation, and words ranging from 'nothing' to 'extremely intense' for its intensity. There are 11 gradations in between. (See Backgrounder at http://www.ucalgary.ca/news/march04/pain-background.html)

"If we used the standard pain scales, women reported more pain than men, and African-Americans reported more pain than Whites," Campbell says. "But if we first gave them some cards with the descriptors on them and said, 'You arrange these in any way that you want, from the least painful to the most painful,' then women became more similar in their pain reports to men, but there was no difference between African-Americans and Whites."

Socio-cultural variables, such as differences in vernacular, may be worth investigating further, Campbell suggests. "One possible explanation is that African-Americans and Whites just describe painful sensations differently."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Calgary. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Calgary. "Regardless Of Race, Pain Feels Pretty Much The Same; But Study Confirms Gender Differences." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040330090901.htm>.
University Of Calgary. (2004, March 30). Regardless Of Race, Pain Feels Pretty Much The Same; But Study Confirms Gender Differences. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040330090901.htm
University Of Calgary. "Regardless Of Race, Pain Feels Pretty Much The Same; But Study Confirms Gender Differences." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040330090901.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins