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African-Americans less likely to choose epidurals for postoperative pain relief
Date:1/31/2008

aid they would accept an epidural if it was recommended by an anesthesiologist, while 36 percent said they would refuse. When asked if an additional recommendation from the surgeon would make them consent, acceptance rose to 78 percent. But when examining differences based on race, African American patients were less likely to say they would accept an epidural under any circumstances.

Socio-economic status also appeared to influence consent. Participants who worked full- or part-time were more likely to accept an epidural compared to those who were unemployed. Even at higher income levels -- $50,000 to $75,000 -- white patients were more likely than black patients to accept an epidural.

The researchers hope to use this new data to help surgeons and other staff members find innovative ways to discuss perioperative anesthesia as a critical part of a patients care, and build anesthesia awareness components into Penns existing community and church-based health outreach initiatives.


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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5659
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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