Study links disparities in pain management to racial bias

Research has documented that black Americans are systematically undertreated for pain relative to white Americans. New research from the University of Virginia suggests that disparities in pain management may be attributable in part to bias. In a study of medical students and residents, researchers find that a substantial number of white medical students and residents hold false beliefs about biological differences between black and white people (e.g., black people’s skin is thicker; black people’s blood coagulates more quickly) that could affect how they assess and treat the pain experienced by black patients.

NPR’s Audie Cornish interviewed the lead researcher Kelly Hoffman.

 

 

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