West Lafayette, Indiana - A 62-year-old with stage IV lung cancer that has spread to his bones, causing unspeakable pain, is trying to convince his physician to prescribe pain medicine. What happens next?
It actually could depend on if the patient is black or white. Or if the physician is a primary care provider or an oncologist.
Yes, race and other factors could play a role, according to a new study conducted by researchers and recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Historically, black patients report greater pain, mostly due to undertreatment, and are less likely to receive adequate pain management, said Cleveland Shields, a professor in Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Human Development and Family Studies, who specializes in physician-patient communication, as well as health disparities due to race, poverty and geography.