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Pain. 1996 Jul;66(1):9-12.

The effect of ethnicity on prescriptions for patient-controlled analgesia for post-operative pain.

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


We studied if ethnicity influences patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) for the treatment of post-operative pain. Using a retrospective record review, we examined data from all patients treated with PCA for post-operative pain from January to June 1993. We excluded patients who did not have surgery prior to the prescription of PCA or were not prescribed PCA in the immediate post-operative period. The sample consisted of 454 subjects. While there were no differences in the amount of narcotic self-administered, there were significant differences in the amount of narcotic prescribed among Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites (F--7,352, P < 0.01). The ethnic differences in prescribed analgesic persisted after controlling for age, gender, pre-operative use of narcotics, pain site, and insurance status. Patient's ethnicity has a greater impact on the amount of narcotic prescribed by the physician than on the amount of narcotic self-administered by the patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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