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Psychosom Med. 1996 Mar-Apr;58(2):125-9.

Ethnic differences in analgesic consumption for postoperative pain.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0804, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the influence of patient ethnicity on receipt of postoperative analgesia.

METHOD:

Chart review of 250 consecutive patients hospitalized for open reduction and internal fixation of a limb fracture. Analgesics consumption in the postoperative period was measured in terms of morphine equivalents.

RESULTS:

There were significant differences (p < .005) in analgesics administered to black, Hispanic, and white patients. Whites received 22 mg/day, blacks 16 mg/day, and Hispanics 13 mg/day. These ethnic differences persisted after controlling for possible confounding variables.

CONCLUSION:

Ethnicity exerts a powerful impact on medical care. We cannot determine from our data whether these differences stem from differences in pain behavior of the patients or differences in medical staff's perception and treatment of such patients.

PMID:
8849628
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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