MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Matthew A. Davis, MPH, PhD
Department of Systems, Populations and Leadership
University of Michigan
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The premise for the study was based on prior work that demonstrated that the likelihood of being prescribed an opioid differs according to a patient’s race and ethnicity. Collectively this work has shown that Non-Hispanic Whites are more likely to receive opioids than other groups for pain.
We decided to look at trends in the prescribing of different pain medications over the last 16 years to see if we could detect any differences in prescribing patterns among racial and ethnic groups. To do so we used national health data for a large sample of Americans who live with significant pain.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: Our work suggests that heavy reliance on opioids is no longer a problem restricted to Non-Hispanic Whites. In this way, what we found is bittersweet – while on one hand we may be witnessing a shrinking of a treatment disparity, on the other hand it isn’t necessarily for a good outcome.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: As we employ new strategies to combat the opioid crisis they need to be done so in a way that cuts across all racial and ethnic groups.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Trends in Prescription Pain Medication Use by Race/Ethnicity Among US Adults With Noncancer Pain, 2000–2015
Jordan M. Harrison PhD, Pooja Lagisetty MD, Brian D. Sites MD, MS, Cui Guo MS, and Matthew A. Davis PhD, MPH
AJPH Published Online: April 19, 2018
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