Racial Differences in Opioid Use for Chronic Nonmalignant Pain

  • Chen I
  • Kurz J
  • Pasanen M
 et al. 
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Chronic pain is a frequent cause of suffering and disability that negatively affects patients' quality of life. There is growing evidence that disparities in the treatment of pain occur because of differences in race., OBJECTIVE: To determine whether race plays a role in treatment decisions involving patients with chronic nonmalignant pain in a primary care population., DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A cross-sectional survey was administered to patients with chronic nonmalignant pain and their treating physicians at 12 academic medical centers. We enrolled 463 patients with nonmalignant pain persisting for more than 3 consecutive months and the primary care physicians participating in their care., RESULTS: Analysis of the 397 black and white patients showed that blacks had significantly higher pain scores (6.7 on a scale of 0 to 10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 6.4 to 7.0) compared with whites (5.6, 95% CI 5.3 to 5.9); however, white patients were more likely to be taking opioid analgesics compared with blacks (45.7% vs 32.2%, P

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Authors

  • Ian M D Chen

  • James M D Kurz

  • Mark M D Pasanen

  • Charles M D Faselis

  • Mukta M D Panda

  • Lisa J M D Staton

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