Racial Disparities in Pain Medications For Pediatric Appendicitis

Monika Goyal, MD Pediatric emergency medicine Children’s National Hospital Washington, DC

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Monika Goyal, MD
Pediatric emergency medicine
Children’s National Hospital
Washington, DC

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Goyal: Appendicitis is a painful surgical condition and adequate analgesia, particularly with opioids, are considered one of the mainstays of management. We found that almost half of all children diagnosed with appendicitis did not receive any analgesia. Furthermore, among the patients that did receive analgesia, there were marked racial differences with black children having lower rates of opioid medication receipt than white children, even after we took pain scores or acuity level into account.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Goyal: Our work provides further evidence that unfortunately, racial disparities in the provision of health care exist. Furthermore, we all need to come together as a society to help eradicate these disparities and achieve health equity.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Goyal: We need to better understand why such racial disparities exist. Once we have a better understanding of the reasons for this, we can then develop interventions to provide more equitable care.


  1. Monika K. Goyal, Nathan Kuppermann, Sean D. Cleary, Stephen J. Teach, James M. Chamberlain. Racial Disparities in Pain Management of Children With Appendicitis in Emergency Departments. JAMA Pediatrics, 2015; DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.1915
  2. Eric W. Fleegler, Neil L. Schechter. Pain and Prejudice. JAMA Pediatrics, 2015; 1 DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.2284


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Monika Goyal, MD (2015). Racial Disparities in Pain Medications For Pediatric Appendicitis 

Last Updated on September 14, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD