Racial Differences Make an Impact on Opioid Treatment Practices


patient and doctor 2-14-13
In a recent article by the Join Together Staff, they highlight a new study that found racial differences make an impact on opioid prescribing, monitoring and follow-up treatment practices. White patients are more likely than black patients to have their pain levels documented. According to MedicalXpress,  blacks are more likely to be referred for substance abuse assessment after being prescribed opioids.
During urine drug tests, black patients were given more tests, especially if they had been taking higher opioid doses.

Included in the study was data from 1,646 white and 253 black patients who filled opioid prescriptions for noncancer pain during a longer duration than 90 days. They were equally likely to have substance abuse in their history.

To read more, view the journal, Pain.

Researcher Leslie R.M. Dr. Hausmann, PhD, of the VA Pittsbrugh Healthcare System, said in a news release, “The emerging picture is that black patients who are able to overcome the barriers to securing a prescription for opioid medications may still be subjected to differential monitoring and follow-up treatment practices that could impact the effectiveness of their pain management.”

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