Is Primary Care Providers’ Trust in Socially Marginalized Patients Affected by Race?

University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143 - 1211, USA.
Journal of General Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.42). 03/2011; 26(8):846-51. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-011-1672-2
Source: PubMed


Interpersonal trust plays an important role in the clinic visit. Clinician trust in the patient may be especially important when prescribing opioid analgesics because of concerns about misuse. Previous studies have found that non-white patients are perceived negatively by clinicians.
To examine whether clinicians' trust in patients differed by patients' race/ethnicity in a socially marginalized cohort.
Cross-sectional study of patient-clinician dyads.
169 HIV infected indigent patients recruited from the community and their 61 primary care providers (PCPs.)
The Physician Trust in Patients Scale (PTPS), a validated scale that measures PCPs' trust in patients.
The mean PTPS score was 43.2 (SD 10.8) out of a possible 60. Reported current illicit drug use and prescription opioid misuse were similar across patients' race or ethnicity. However, both patient illicit drug use and patient non-white race/ethnicity were associated with lower PTPS scores. In a multivariate model, non-white race/ethnicity was independently associated with PTPS scores 6.3 points lower than whites (95% CI: -9.9, -2.7). Current illicit drug use was associated with PTSP scores 5.5 lower than no drug use (95% CI -8.5, -2.5).
In a socially marginalized cohort, non-white patients were trusted less than white patients by their PCPs, despite similar rates of illicit drug use and opioid analgesic misuse. The effect was independent of illicit drug use. This finding may reflect unconscious stereotypes by PCPs and may underlie disparities in chronic pain management.

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    • "8–10 In fact, the existence of racial bias among healthcare providers and its role as a potential contributor to racial healthcare disparities were discussed in the seminal Institute of Medicine report, Unequal Treatment, published in 2003. 11 What is surprising, though, is that the Moskowitz et al. study, published in 2011, is the first to examine the effect of patient race on clinicians' trust, in contrast to the many published studies examining patient trust. 12 This imbalance underscores what is arguably the dominant way in which the problem of racial healthcare disparities is framed, in which the focus is on identifying and addressing the characteristics of racial minority patients, rather than the characteristics of providers, that contribute to disparities. "

    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of General Internal Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. Pain medicine agreements are frequently recommended for use with high-risk patients on chronic opioid therapy. We assessed how consistently pain medicine agreements were used and whether patients were aware that they had signed a pain medicine agreement in a sample of HIV-infected adults prescribed chronic opioid treatment. Design. We recruited patients from a longitudinal cohort of community-based HIV-infected adults and recruited the patients' primary care providers (PCPs). The patients completed in-person interviews and PCPs completed mail-based questionnaires about the patients' use of pain medicine agreements. Among patients prescribed chronic opioid therapy, we analyzed the prevalence of pain medicine agreement use, patient factors associated with their use, and agreement between patient and clinician reports of pain agreements. Results. We had 84 patient–clinician dyads, representing 38 PCPs. A total of 72.8% of patients fit the diagnostic criteria for a lifetime substance use disorder. PCPs reported using pain medicine agreements with 42.9% of patients. Patients with pain medicine agreements were more likely to be smokers (91.7% vs 58.3%; P = 0.001) and had higher mean scores on the Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain (µ = 26.0 [standard deviation, SD] = 9.7) vs µ = 19.5 [SD = 9.3]; P = 0.003). Patients reported having a pain medicine agreement with a sensitivity of 61.1% and a specificity of 64.6%. Conclusions. In a high-risk sample, clinicians were using agreements at a low rate, but were more likely to use them with patients at highest risk of misuse. Patients exhibited low awareness of whether they signed a pain medicine agreement.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Pain Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Opioids are increasingly prescribed, but there are limited data on opioid receipt by HIV status. OBJECTIVES: To describe patterns of opioid receipt by HIV status and the relationship between HIV status and receiving any, high-dose, and long-term opioids. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of the Veterans Aging Cohort Study. PARTICIPANTS: HIV-infected (HIV+) patients receiving Veterans Health Administration care, and uninfected matched controls. MAIN MEASURES: Pain-related diagnoses were determined using ICD-9 codes. Any opioid receipt was defined as at least one opioid prescription; high-dose was defined as an average daily dose ≥120 mg of morphine equivalents; long-term opioids was defined as ≥90 consecutive days, allowing a 30 day refill gap. Multivariable models were used to assess the relationship between HIV infection and the three outcomes. KEY RESULTS: Among the HIV+ (n = 23,651) and uninfected (n = 55,097) patients, 31 % of HIV+ and 28 % of uninfected (p < 0.001) received opioids. Among patients receiving opioids, HIV+ patients were more likely to have an acute pain diagnosis (7 % vs. 4 %), but less likely to have a chronic pain diagnosis (53 % vs. 69 %). HIV+ patients received a higher mean daily morphine equivalent dose than uninfected patients (41 mg vs. 37 mg, p = 0.001) and were more likely to receive high-dose opioids (6 % vs. 5 %, p < 0.001). HIV+ patients received fewer days of opioids than uninfected patients (median 44 vs. 60, p < 0.001), and were less likely to receive long-term opioids (31 % vs. 34 %, p < 0.001). In multivariable analysis, HIV+ status was associated with receipt of any opioids (AOR 1.40, 95 % CI 1.35, 1.46) and high-dose opioids (AOR 1.22, 95 % CI 1.07, 1.39), but not long-term opioids (AOR 0.94, 95 % CI 0.88, 1.01). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with HIV infection are more likely to be prescribed opioids than uninfected individuals, and there is a variable association with pain diagnoses. Efforts to standardize approaches to pain management may be warranted in this highly complex and vulnerable patient population.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of General Internal Medicine
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