Pain assessment and treatment decisions for virtual human patients.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Laypeople and healthcare professionals use demographic cues when making pain management decisions. These decisions can negatively affect patient outcomes. This study examined whether laypeople base their pain management decisions in part on pain-related postures and demographic cues. Virtual human (VH) technology was used to research whether sex and race, as well as body posture, influenced pain management decisions. Ninety-seven laypersons examined VH patients exhibiting low back pain related body postures whose demographic cues varied by VH sex and VH race. T tests validated that participants were able to distinguish between high pain related body postures and low pain related body postures. The participants assessed male VH patients to be experiencing more pain than female VH patients. This study suggests that participants use sex as a cue when assessing pain. Participants may perceive VH male patients as experiencing high pain intensity if the participants are willing to counter male stereotypes and acknowledge that the male VH patients display pain behaviors.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wandner, LD; George, SZ; Lok, BC; Torres, CA; Chuah, JH; Robinson, ME

Published Date

  • December 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 904 - 909

PubMed ID

  • 23971429

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3870596

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2152-2723

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/cyber.2012.0707


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States