Document Detail

The influence of gender and race on physicians' pain management decisions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14636818     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This study set out to examine whether gender or race influences physicians' pain management decisions in a national sample of 712 (414 men, 272 women) practicing physicians. Medical vignettes were used to vary patient gender and race experimentally while holding symptom presentation constant. Treatment decisions were assessed by calculating maximum permitted doses of narcotic analgesic (hydrocodone) prescribed for initial pain treatment and for follow-up care. No overall differences by patient gender or race were found in decisions to treat or in maximum permitted doses. However, for persistent back pain, female physicians prescribed lower doses of hydrocodone, especially to male patients. For renal colic, lower doses were prescribed to black versus white patients when the patient was female, whereas the reverse was true when patients were male. These findings challenge a fairly extensive literature suggesting that physicians treat women and minorities less aggressively for their pain, and results offer further evidence that pain treatment decisions are influenced physician gender.
Carol S Weisse; Paul C Sorum; Rachel E Dominguez
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society     Volume:  4     ISSN:  1526-5900     ISO Abbreviation:  J Pain     Publication Date:  2003 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-11-25     Completed Date:  2004-01-12     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100898657     Medline TA:  J Pain     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  505-10     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, Union College, Schenectady, New York 12308, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Analgesics / therapeutic use
Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage,  therapeutic use
Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
Back Pain / drug therapy
Data Collection
Decision Making*
Drug Prescriptions
Ethnic Groups
Hydrocodone / administration & dosage,  therapeutic use
Kidney Calculi / complications,  drug therapy
Middle Aged
Pain / etiology,  therapy*
Sex Factors
Sinusitis / complications,  drug therapy
United States
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Analgesics; 0/Analgesics, Opioid; 0/Anti-Bacterial Agents; 125-29-1/Hydrocodone

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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