Meta-analysis: black patients less likely to receive analgesia for acute pain in the ED

  • Lee P & al.
  • Am J Emerg Med
  • 5 Jun 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • 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.

Study design

  • Meta-analysis of 14 studies including patients with acute pain who visited ED.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • 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).

Limitations

  • High heterogeneity.

Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD