Race-related differences in acute pain complaints among inner-city women: the role of socioeconomic status.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Previous research has shown that African Americans (AA) report higher pain intensity and pain interference than other racial/ethnic groups as well as greater levels of other risk factors related to worse pain outcomes, including PTSD symptoms, pain catastrophizing, and sleep disturbance. Within a Conservation of Resources theory framework, we tested the hypothesis that socioeconomic status (SES) factors (i.e., income, education, employment, perception of income meeting basic needs) largely account for these racial/ethnic differences. Participants were 435 women [AA, 59.1%; Hispanic/Latina (HL), 25.3%; Non-Hispanic/White (NHW), 15.6%] who presented to an Emergency Department (ED) with an acute pain-related complaint. Data were extracted from psychosocial questionnaires completed at the participants' baseline interview. Structural equation modeling was used to examine whether racial/ethnic differences in pain intensity and pain interference were mediated by PTSD symptoms, pain catastrophizing, sleep quality, and sleep duration, and whether these mediation pathways were, in turn, accounted for by SES factors. Results indicated that SES factors accounted for the mediation relationships linking AA race to pain intensity via PTSD symptoms and the mediation relationships linking AA race to pain interference via PTSD symptoms, pain catastrophizing, and sleep quality. Results suggested that observed racial/ethnic differences in AA women's pain intensity, pain interference, and common risk factors for elevated pain may be largely due to racial/ethnic differences in SES. These findings highlight the role of social inequality in persistent health disparities facing inner-city, AA women.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lillis, TA; Burns, J; Aranda, F; Burgess, HJ; Purim-Shem-Tov, YA; Bruehl, S; Beckham, JC; Pinkerton, LM; Hobfoll, SE

Published Date

  • October 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 791 - 806

PubMed ID

  • 31832845

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7289669

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-3521

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10865-019-00123-3


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States