Gepubliceerd: 24-05-2013

Demografische kenmerken beïnvloeden behandelaanpak van pijn

Tandartsen hebben dagelijks te maken met patiënten die pijn hebben. Het is vaak buitengewoon lastig in te schatten hoeveel pijn de patiënt nu werkelijk heeft. In een Amerikaans onderzoek werden aan tandartsen virtuele patiënten met pijn getoond. Daarna kregen de tandartsen vragen voorgelegd over diagnose en behandelmogelijkheden. Opvallend is dat in de voorgestelde behandelaanpak de demografische kenmerken van de patiënten een rol speelde.

Healthcare professionals use race, gender, and age cues when making pain management decisions. Use of these demographic cues, therefore, is an important topic in the study of healthcare disparities. This study used virtual human (VH) technology to investigate the effects of VH patients' demographic cues on dentists' pain management decisions. Eighty-nine dentists viewed patients with different demographic cues. Analyses revealed that dentists rated pain intensity higher and were more willing to prescribe opioids to female, African-American, and younger patients than to their demographic counterparts. Results also found significant 2-way interactions between race and age for both pain assessment and treatment decisions. The interaction results suggest that the race difference (Caucasian < African American) was more pronounced for younger than for older patients. This is the first study to examine demographic cue use in dentists' decision-making for pain. The study found that dentists used demographic cues when making pain management decisions. Currently, there are no guidelines for decision- making practices for gender-, race-, or age-related pain. Since dentists see thousands of patients during their careers, the use of demographic cues could affect a substantial portion of the population. The findings could improve future training programs for dentists and dental students.

Bron

Wandner LD, Hirsh AT, Torres CA, et al. Using virtual human technology to capture dentists' decision policies about pain. J Dent Res 2013; 92: 301-305. doi: 10.1177/0022034513480802

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