- Black patients seeking care in the emergency department (ED) were significantly less likely than whites to receive any analgesia for acute pain, even in cases of long-bone fracture or traumatic pain.
- Opioid use was not statistically different.
Why this matters
- Prior studies on racial disparities in analgesia use have yielded conflicting results.
- Meta-analysis of 14 studies including patients with acute pain who visited ED.
- Funding: None.
- Black patients were less likely to receive any analgesia vs white patients (random effects model OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.43-0.83) but the difference in opioid administration did not achieve statistical significance (random effects OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.42-1.02).
- Differences in analgesia or opioid use between Hispanic and white patients failed to achieve statistical significance (random effects OR, 0.75 [95% CI, 0.52-1.09] and OR, 0.87 [95% CI, 0.51-1.51]).
- Black patients with long-bone fracture or traumatic pain were significantly less likely to receive analgesia than white patients (OR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.42-0.82).
- High heterogeneity.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD