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  • Clinician-Patient Racial/Ethnic Concordance Influences Racial/Ethnic Minority Pain: Evidence from Simulated Clinical Interactions. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.) Anderson, S. R., Gianola, M., Perry, J. M., Losin, E. A. 2020

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: Racial and ethnic minorities in the United States report higher levels of both clinical and experimental pain, yet frequently receive inadequate pain treatment. Although these disparities are well documented, their underlying causes remain largely unknown. Evidence from social psychological and health disparities research suggests that clinician-patient racial/ethnic concordance may improve minority patient health outcomes. Yet whether clinician-patient racial/ethnic concordance influences pain remains poorly understood.METHODS: Medical trainees and community members/undergraduates played the role of "clinicians" and "patients," respectively, in simulated clinical interactions. All participants identified as non-Hispanic Black/African American, Hispanic white, or non-Hispanic white. Interactions were randomized to be either racially/ethnically concordant or discordant in a 3 (clinician race/ethnicity) * 2 (clinician-patient racial/ethnic concordance) factorial design. Clinicians took the medical history and vital signs of the patient and administered an analogue of a painful medical procedure.RESULTS: As predicted, clinician-patient racial/ethnic concordance reduced self-reported and physiological indicators of pain for non-Hispanic Black/African American patients and did not influence pain for non-Hispanic white patients. Contrary to our prediction, concordance was associated with increased pain report in Hispanic white patients. Finally, the influence of concordance on pain-induced physiological arousal was largest for patients who reported prior experience with or current worry about racial/ethnic discrimination.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings inform our understanding of the sociocultural factors that influence pain within medical contexts and suggest that increasing minority, particularly non-Hispanic Black/African American, physician numbers may help reduce persistent racial/ethnic pain disparities.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/pm/pnaa258

    View details for PubMedID 32830855

  • Clinician-Patient Movement Synchrony Mediates Social Group Effects on Interpersonal Trust and Perceived Pain. The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society Goldstein, P., Losin, E. A., Anderson, S. R., Schelkun, V. R., Wager, T. D. 2020

    Abstract

    Pain is an unfortunate consequence of many medical procedures, which in some patients becomes chronic and debilitating. Among the factors affecting medical pain, clinician-patient (C-P) similarity and nonverbal communication are particularly important for pain diagnosis and treatment. Participants (N = 66) were randomly assigned to clinician and patient roles and were grouped into C-P dyads. Clinicians administered painful stimuli to patients as an analogue of a painful medical procedure. We manipulated the perceived C-P similarity of each dyad using groups ostensibly based on shared beliefs and values, and each patient was tested twice: Once with a same group clinician (concordant, CC) and once with a clinician from the other group (discordant, DC). Movement synchrony was calculated as a marker of nonverbal communication. We tested whether movement synchrony mediated the effects of group concordance on patients' pain and trust in the clinician. Movement synchrony was higher in CC than DC dyads. Higher movement synchrony predicted reduced pain and increased trust in the clinician. Movement synchrony also formally mediated the group concordance effects on pain and trust. These findings increase our understanding of the role of nonverbal C-P communication on pain and related outcomes. Interpersonal synchrony may be associated with better pain outcomes, independent of the specific treatment provided. PERSPECTIVE: This article demonstrates that movement synchrony in C-P interactions is an unobtrusive measure related to their relationship quality, trust toward the clinician, and pain. These findings suggest that interpersonal synchrony may be associated with better patient outcomes, independent of the specific treatment provided.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpain.2020.03.001

    View details for PubMedID 32544602

  • Feelings of Clinician-Patient Similarity and Trust Influence Pain: Evidence From Simulated Clinical Interactions JOURNAL OF PAIN Losin, E., Anderson, S. R., Wager, T. D. 2017; 18 (7): 787–99

    Abstract

    Pain is influenced by many factors other than external sources of tissue damage. Among these, the clinician-patient relationship is particularly important for pain diagnosis and treatment. However, the effects of the clinician-patient relationship on pain remain underexamined. We tested the hypothesis that patients who believe they share core beliefs and values with their clinician will report less pain than patients who do not. We also measured feelings of perceived clinician-patient similarity and trust to see if these interpersonal factors influenced pain. We did so by experimentally manipulating perceptions of similarity between participants playing the role of clinicians and participants playing the role of patients in simulated clinical interactions. Participants were placed in 2 groups on the basis of their responses to a questionnaire about their personal beliefs and values, and painful thermal stimulation was used as an analog of a painful medical procedure. We found that patients reported feeling more similarity and trust toward their clinician when they were paired with clinicians from their own group. In turn, patients' positive feelings of similarity and trust toward their clinicians-but not clinicians' feelings toward patients or whether the clinician and patient were from the same group-predicted lower pain ratings. Finally, the most anxious patients exhibited the strongest relationship between their feelings about their clinicians and their pain report. These findings increase our understanding of context-driven pain modulation and suggest that interventions aimed at increasing patients' feelings of similarity to and trust in health care providers may help reduce the pain experienced during medical care.We present novel evidence that the clinician-patient relationship can affect the pain experienced during medical care. We found that "patients" in simulated clinical interactions who reported feeling more similarity and trust toward their "clinicians" reported less pain, suggesting that increasing feelings of clinician-patient similarity and trust may reduce pain disparities.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpain.2017.02.428

    View details for Web of Science ID 000404946200004

    View details for PubMedID 28479279

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5590751

  • A sociocultural neuroscience approach to pain Culture & Brain Anderson, S. R., Reynolds Losin, E. A. 2017