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Physician experience is associated with greater underestimation of patient pain

Physician experience is associated with greater underestimation of patient pain
Physician experience is associated with greater underestimation of patient pain
Objective: procedural pain is unique in that physicians simultaneously cause and assess it. Experienced male physicians are known to underestimate their female patients’ pain more than other physicians. However, it is unknown whether this also occurs in obstetrics/gynecology, where all patients are females. This study addresses the gap in literature on procedural pain assessment accuracy.
Methods: the present research compares paired pain evaluations from 20 obstetricians/gynecologists and their 92 female patients. 
Results: our data demonstrate that patients’ reported pain levels (M=5.53, SD=2.7) were significantly higher than their physicians’ pain estimates (M=4.89, SD=2.19), t=2.64, p < 0.005. The gap between patients’ and physicians’ pain estimates was greatest among physicians with the greatest procedural experience (M=1.49, SD = 2.24), f=5.72, p < 0.005. Male physicians underestimated their patients’ pain significantly more than female physicians do, t=2.27, p < 0.05. 
Conclusion: our results shed light on systematic underestimation of procedural pain and highlight the significance of experience and sex differences in pain evaluation.Practice Implications: Physicians’ experience influences their perception of patient pain while performing procedures. Experienced male physicians, even those who exclusively treat female patients, need to be aware of this ubiquitous bias in assessing their female patients’ procedural pain
0738-3991
Miron-Shatz, Talya
4c678aeb-9ba0-4970-8bcf-04f478a8a803
Ormianer, Maayan
88cedf1b-9433-4e43-bcfc-0f219eb10f7f
Rabinowitz, Jonnina
47a161c2-c44f-4fd8-8f50-80fdbdd34a68
Hanoch, Yaniv
3cf08e80-8bda-4d3b-af1c-46c858aa9f39
Tsafrir, Avi
c932a19e-7d81-4dcd-8ee8-6a5dad70d798
Miron-Shatz, Talya
4c678aeb-9ba0-4970-8bcf-04f478a8a803
Ormianer, Maayan
88cedf1b-9433-4e43-bcfc-0f219eb10f7f
Rabinowitz, Jonnina
47a161c2-c44f-4fd8-8f50-80fdbdd34a68
Hanoch, Yaniv
3cf08e80-8bda-4d3b-af1c-46c858aa9f39
Tsafrir, Avi
c932a19e-7d81-4dcd-8ee8-6a5dad70d798

Miron-Shatz, Talya, Ormianer, Maayan, Rabinowitz, Jonnina, Hanoch, Yaniv and Tsafrir, Avi (2019) Physician experience is associated with greater underestimation of patient pain. Patient Education and Counseling. (doi:10.1016/j.pec.2019.08.040).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objective: procedural pain is unique in that physicians simultaneously cause and assess it. Experienced male physicians are known to underestimate their female patients’ pain more than other physicians. However, it is unknown whether this also occurs in obstetrics/gynecology, where all patients are females. This study addresses the gap in literature on procedural pain assessment accuracy.
Methods: the present research compares paired pain evaluations from 20 obstetricians/gynecologists and their 92 female patients. 
Results: our data demonstrate that patients’ reported pain levels (M=5.53, SD=2.7) were significantly higher than their physicians’ pain estimates (M=4.89, SD=2.19), t=2.64, p < 0.005. The gap between patients’ and physicians’ pain estimates was greatest among physicians with the greatest procedural experience (M=1.49, SD = 2.24), f=5.72, p < 0.005. Male physicians underestimated their patients’ pain significantly more than female physicians do, t=2.27, p < 0.05. 
Conclusion: our results shed light on systematic underestimation of procedural pain and highlight the significance of experience and sex differences in pain evaluation.Practice Implications: Physicians’ experience influences their perception of patient pain while performing procedures. Experienced male physicians, even those who exclusively treat female patients, need to be aware of this ubiquitous bias in assessing their female patients’ procedural pain

Text
PEC Experience and Sex Influence Doctors Take2 25-8-19 - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 30 August 2020.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 29 August 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 August 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 434410
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/434410
ISSN: 0738-3991
PURE UUID: 6104e645-558d-46f2-b234-769d0b23dcc7

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Date deposited: 23 Sep 2019 16:30
Last modified: 09 Dec 2019 17:31

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Contributors

Author: Talya Miron-Shatz
Author: Maayan Ormianer
Author: Jonnina Rabinowitz
Author: Yaniv Hanoch
Author: Avi Tsafrir

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