A new study, published in the current issue of PAIN
, has found that along with well-documented racial disparities in prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain, there are also racial disparities in the use of recommended opioid monitoring and follow-up treatment practices, according to a News-Medical
The study examined racial differences in the documentation of pain and the involvement of specialists in the care of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain. Researchers used data from electronic health records for 1,646 white and 253 black patients who filled opioid prescriptions for more than three months at the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System pharmacy.
Researchers found that pain levels were less frequently documented for black patients than for white patients during medical visits. Black patients were also subjected to more tests and were less likely than white patients to be referred to a pain specialist, according to the report.
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