Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief
The colour of your skin may influence the extent to which you obtain pain relief from a health professional. This is reported in a systematic review by Aronowitz et al (2019) from the USA titled: 'Mixed Studies Review of Factors Influencing Receipt of Pain Treatment by Injured Black Patients'.
The study aimed to: 'explore the factors that influence provider pain treatment decision making and the receipt of pain management by injured Black patients in the United States'. Twenty studies were found which met the criteria of the study and the main results were: 'that healthcare provider characteristics, racial myths about pain sensitization, and assumed criminality all impact provider treatment decision making and the receipt of pain treatment by injured Black patients'.
The authors concluded: 'Racial disparities in pain treatment are clearly unjust and can understandably sow mistrust in healthcare providers among individuals in communities harmed by these disparities, which can lead to an avoidance of care. The results of this review provide important areas for further study, including how intentionality of injury may impact provider-perceived patient trustworthiness and the receipt of pain treatment by injured patients. The assumed criminality of certain populations, particularly people of color, can negatively impact the way people are treated by law enforcement, potential employers, healthcare providers, and the general public. How the assumed criminality of certain patients by providers may impact the quality of care that these patients receive has not been thoroughly explored, but is vital to address healthcare disparities.
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Aronowitz, S. V., Mcdonald, C. C., Stevens, R. C. and Richmond, T. S. (2019), Mixed Studies Review of Factors Influencing Receipt of Pain Treatment by Injured Black Patients. J Adv Nurs. doi:10.1111/jan.14215