Non-Hispanic Black-White disparities in pain and pain management among newly admitted nursing home residents with cancer
Received 26 November 2017
Accepted for publication 26 January 2018
Published 12 April 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 753—761
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval
Deborah S Mack,1 Jacob N Hunnicutt,1 Bill M Jesdale,2 Kate L Lapane2
1Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, Clinical and Population Health Research Program, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA; 2Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA
Background: Racial disparities in pain management persist across health care settings and likely extend into nursing homes. No recent studies have evaluated racial disparities in pain management among residents with cancer in nursing homes at time of admission.
Methods: Using a cross-sectional study design, we compared reported pain and pain management between non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black newly admitted nursing home residents with cancer (n=342,920) using the de-identified Minimum Data Set version 3.0. Pain management strategies included the use of scheduled analgesics, pro re nata analgesics, and non-pharmacological methods. Presence of pain was based on self-report when residents were able, and staff report when unable. Robust Poisson models provided estimates of adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95% CIs for reported pain and pain management strategies.
Results: Among nursing home residents with cancer, ~60% reported pain with non-Hispanic Blacks less likely to have both self-reported pain (aPR [Black versus White]: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.97–0.99) and staff-reported pain (aPR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.86–0.93) documentation compared with Non-Hispanic Whites. While most residents received some pharmacologic pain management, Blacks were less likely to receive any compared with Whites (Blacks: 66.6%, Whites: 71.1%; aPR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.97–0.99), consistent with differences in receipt of non-pharmacologic treatments (Blacks: 25.8%, Whites: 34.0%; aPR: 0.98, 95 CI%: 0.96–0.99).
Conclusion: Less pain was reported for Black compared with White nursing home residents and White residents subsequently received more frequent pain management at admission. The extent to which unequal reporting and management of pain persists in nursing homes should be further explored.
Keywords: nursing homes, cancer, pain, pain management, race
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