Racial disparities in access to pain management services during COVID pandemic at an urban safety-net hospital
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Background: Race has been identified as one of the great divisions of mankind, associated with differences in healthcare access in the US. The COVID pandemic has shed light on a variety of disparities, including access to pain management services.
Method: All the adult patients who were referred to the pain clinic at Boston Medical Center (BMC) from December 2019- December 2020 were included in this study. A total of 2023 cases (1243 White Race and 790 People of Color) were recruited.
Result: Patients of WR received care at a younger age. COVID-19 increased the average age of WR by 2.5 years, while it didn’t affect POC. The average gap between the date of the consult and the procedure was not significantly different between the 2 groups. It also was not significantly different pre-COVID and post-COVID. There were no differences in the racial makeup of the referred patients before and after the pandemic, although the percentage of patients being POC (39.3%) was significantly lower than the racial makeup of the representing population (47.18%). Patients of WR were significantly more likely to have completed visits (66.3%) than POC (60.5%).
Conclusion: Our study demonstrated disparities between the WR and POC that were evident even before starting the COVID-19 pandemic. It also showed that these disparities continued to be the same as before COVID-19. Although many disparities are rooted in the society itself, we noticed that in numerous instances, pain management services were offered equally at our institution. We suggest that multiracial administrative staff living in the same community and hospital-sponsored support systems were the main contributors.
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Ghorbanhoseini M, Uppalapati AV, Yang A, ortega r, vaynberg e. Racial disparities in access to pain management services during COVID pandemic at an urban safety-net hospital. Advances in Clinical Medical Research and Healthcare Delivery. 2023; 3(1). doi: 10.53785/2769-2779.1133.