Black, Hispanic women report more postpartum pain but receive less opioid medication: study

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CHICAGO, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women were significantly more likely to report postpartum pain scores ranging from five to 10 when compared to non-Hispanic white women, according to a study published on the website of Northwestern University on Thursday.

Despite reporting higher pain scores, the group received significantly fewer morphine milligram equivalents (a measurement of opioids) than white patients and were significantly less likely to receive a prescription for an opioid at postpartum discharge.

The study looked at a retrospective cohort study of 9,900 deliveries at a large academic medical center from Dec. 1, 2015, through Nov. 30, 2016.

"Our study shows black and Hispanic women experience disparities in pain management in the postpartum setting," said Nevert Badreldin, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "These disparities cannot be explained by less perceived pain."

The reasons for the disparities are likely complex, Badreldin said. "One way to address them would be to encourage more standardized approaches to postpartum pain management," she said.

"Acknowledging the presence of racial and ethnic disparities in postpartum pain management is the first step to addressing why it exists and how we can stop it," she said.

The study was published on Wednesday in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. Enditem

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