Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Black patients, women miss out on strongest medications for chronic pain

Date:
August 17, 2010
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Black patients are prescribed fewer pain medications than whites and few women receive medications strong enough to manage their chronic pain, according to a new study. Researchers found other racial and gender gaps in the pain care journey that suggests changes are needed beginning with primary care doctors.

Dr. Carmen R. Green.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Michigan Health System

Black patients are prescribed fewer pain medications than whites and few women receive medications strong enough to manage their chronic pain, according to a study in the August issue of Journal of Pain.

Related Articles


University of Michigan Health System researchers studied nearly 200 patients with chronic pain who sought help from a specialty pain center. Researchers analyzed the number and potency of medicines they were already taking and the adequacy of pain management.

Younger men received better pain management, and the U-M found other racial and gender gaps in the pain care journey that suggests changes are needed beginning in primary care.

"Most patients first seek help for pain from their primary care doctor," said U-M pain medicine specialist and anesthesiologist Carmen R. Green, M.D., lead author of the study. "If we are to reduce or eliminate disparities in pain care, we have to support successful primary care interventions."

Before referral to the specialty pain center, black patients were on 1.8 medications compared to 2.6 medicines among white patients. The gender gap was worse: only 21 percent of women were prescribed a strong opoid, compared to 30 percent of men taking a strong painkiller.

Problems with access to pain care and previous research suggests that overall, the pain complaints of women and minorities get less attention and lesser quality treatment from health care professionals.

It's a variance that can lead to differences in outcomes such as disability, sleep disturbance and depression.

U-M researchers did not ask physicians about their prescribing practices, but they did examine barriers to treatment from a patient's point of view.

"Men and women differed on a single item -- the notion, primarily among women, to save medication in case pain gets worse. Blacks also more more strongly endorsed that it was easier to put up with pain than the side effects of medication," Green says.

Chronic pain is increasingly common and there are many options to treat it successfully, yet people continue to suffer with inadequate pain management, authors say.

The proper assessment and treatment of chronic pain presents significant public health challenges because pain can hinder ability to work or care for families.

Green, a professor of anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, health management and policy and faculty associate with the Program for Research on Black Americans at the U-M, worked with Tamera Hart-Johnson, M.S., senior research associate, on her latest study to examine health disparities in pain management.

Through previous research Green has shown blacks, women, the elderly and patients from lower socio-economic backgrounds are more severely impacted by pain and minorities have a harder time filling prescriptions for painkillers at their local pharmacies.

Funding was provided by Aetna Quality Care Fund.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. The original article was written by Shantell M. Kirkendoll. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Green et al. The Adequacy of Chronic Pain Management Prior to Presenting at a Tertiary Care Pain Center: The Role of Patient Socio-Demographic Characteristics. Journal of Pain, 2010; 11 (8): 746 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2009.11.003

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Black patients, women miss out on strongest medications for chronic pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817090806.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2010, August 17). Black patients, women miss out on strongest medications for chronic pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817090806.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Black patients, women miss out on strongest medications for chronic pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817090806.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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