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A study of primary care physicians rating their immigrant patients pain intensity
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, General Practice. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Uppsala University, Sweden .
2013 (English)In: European Journal of Pain, ISSN 1090-3801, E-ISSN 1532-2149, Vol. 17, no 1, 132-139 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Few studies focus on how physicians evaluate pain in foreign-born patients with varying cultural backgrounds. This study aimed to compare pain ratings [visual analogue scale (VAS) 0100] done by Swedish primary care physicians and their patients, and to analyse which factors predicted physicians higher ratings of pain in patients aged 1845 years with long-standing disabling back pain. Methods The two physicians jointly carried out the somatic and psychiatric diagnostic evaluations and alternated as consulting doctor or observer. One-third of the consultations were interpreted. Towards the end of the consultations, the patients rated their pain intensity right now (patients VAS). After the patient had left, the two physicians independently rated how much pain they thought the patient had, without looking at the patients VAS score. The mean of the two doctors VAS values (physicians VAS) for each patient was used in the logistic regression calculations of odds ratios (OR) in main effect models for physicians VAS above median (md) with patients sex, education, origin, depression, psychosocial stress and pain sites as explanatory variables. Results Physicians VAS values were significantly lower (md 15) than patients VAS (md 66; women md 73, men md 52). The ratings showed no significant association with whether the physician was acting as consultant or observer. The higher physician VAS was only predicted by findings of multiple pain sites. Conclusions Physicians appear to overlook psychological and emotional aspects when rating the pain of patients from other cultural backgrounds. This finding highlights a potential problem in multicultural care settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2013. Vol. 17, no 1, 132-139 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-90767DOI: 10.1002/j.1532-2149.2012.00162.xISI: 000312300800016OAI: diva2:614681

Funding Agencies|Center for Clinical Research Dalarna - Uppsala University, Sweden||Center for Clincial Research Vastmanland - Uppsala University, Sweden||

Available from: 2013-04-05 Created: 2013-04-05 Last updated: 2013-04-05

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Andre, Malin
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