Uri O, Elias S, Behrbalk E, Halpern P. No gender-related bias in acute musculoskeletal pain management in the emergency department. Emerg Med J. 2013 Oct 11. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2013-202716. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24123168.

Emerg Med J. 2013 Oct 11. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2013-202716. [Epub ahead of print]

No gender-related bias in acute musculoskeletal pain management in the emergency department.

Uri O, Elias S, Behrbalk E, Halpern P.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

INTRODUCTION: Patients' gender remains a contributor for bias in pain management. Implementation of standardised analgesic protocols has been shown to minimize bias in analgesic care. The purpose of this study was to assess whether gender-related bias in pain management exists in our emergency department (ED) setting, where a standardised pain management protocol based on patients' subjective pain rating is routinely used.

METHODS: Pain management measures (ie, analgesia administration, waiting time for analgesia, pain relief and patients' satisfaction) were prospectively assessed in 328 patients (150 women and 178 men, average age 36±18 years) who were treated in our ED for acute musculoskeletal pain.

RESULTS: Patients' subjective pain rating on arrival were similar for men and women (59±24 mm vs 61±26 mm, respectively; p=0.47). Interestingly, physicians using the same scale assessed the women's pain level to be higher than that of men (75±25 mm vs 63±22 mm, respectively; p<0.001) and higher than that of women's subjective pain rating (75±25 mm vs 61±26 mm respectively; p<0.001). Nevertheless, the rates of analgesia administration, waiting time for analgesia, pain relief and patient satisfaction were similar for both genders. Physicians' own gender did not affect analgesic care.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that a standardised pain management protocol based on patients' subjective pain rating may reduce gender-related bias in acute musculoskeletal pain management.

PMID: 24123168  [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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