Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

The influence of patient's sex, race and depression on clinician pain treatment decisions.

Hirsh AT, Hollingshead NA, Bair MJ, Matthias MS, Wu J, Kroenke K. The influence of patient's sex, race and depression on clinician pain treatment decisions. European journal of pain (London, England). 2013 Nov 1; 17(10):1569-79.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Pain treatments often vary across patients' demographic and mental health characteristics. Most research on this topic has been observational, has focused on opioid therapy exclusively and has not examined individual differences in clinician decision making. The current study examined the influence of patient's sex, race and depression on clinicians' chronic pain treatment decisions. METHODS: We used virtual human technology and lens model methodology to enhance study realism and facilitate a richer understanding of treatment decisions. Clinicians and trainees (n? = 100) made treatment decisions (opioid, antidepressant, pain specialty referral, mental health referral) for 16 computer-simulated patients with chronic low back pain. Patients' sex, race and depression status were manipulated across vignettes (image and text). RESULTS: Individual- and group-level analyses indicated that patient's depression status had the strongest and most consistent influence on treatment decisions. Although less influential overall, patient's sex and race were significantly influential for a subset of participants. Furthermore, the results indicated that participants who were influenced by patient's race had less experience in treating chronic pain than those who were not influenced by patient's race [t(11.59)? = 4.75; p? = 0.001; d? = 1.20]. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicated considerable variability in participants' chronic pain treatment decisions. These data suggest that interventions to reduce variability in treatment decision making and improve pain care should be individually tailored according to clinicians' decision profiles.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.