Women’s pain isn’t as severe as men’s pain-even with the same injuries, new studies warn.
American scientist When male and female patients experienced the same amount of pain, observers found that female patients had less pain and were more likely to benefit from psychotherapy than medication. did.
Both male and female observers were found to be guilty of this “gender bias”. This can lead to treatment disparities and the inability of painful women to take the medications they need.
According to experts, the prejudice is due to the old stereotype that men are more “stoic” than women, so their pain can be more severe.
Researchers at the University of Miami found that when male and female patients showed the same amount of pain, observers benefited from psychotherapy and medication, as female patients’ pain was less severe than male’s. We consider it likely to be affected and have discovered that it exposes a significant gender bias in the patient. Leading to treatment disparities (stock images)
Types of pain
Healthcare professionals use different terms for different types of pain.
- Short-term pain is called acute pain. An example is a sprained ankle.
- The long term is called persistent or chronic pain. Examples are back problems and arthritis.
- Pain in and out is called recurrent or intermittent pain. There can be one toothache.
Pain signals are transmitted to the brain using the spinal cord and special nerve fibers.
Pain is by no means “in the mind” or “in the body” -it is a complex mixture that contains our entire being.
Source: British Pain Society
Research author Elizabeth Rosin, a professor of psychology at the University of Miami, said:
“The other side of this stereotype is that men are perceived to be stoic, so when a man makes a severely painful expression, you think,” Oh, he must be dying! “
The results of this gender stereotype regarding pain expression suggest that each unit of increased pain expression from a man represents a higher increase in his pain experience than the same increase in pain expression by a woman. It means that it is.
“Women are not always more expressive than men, so women’s expressions of pain should not be underestimated.”
Studies published in Pain journalIt consisted of two experiments in which a total of 250 participants participated.
In the first experiment, 50 participants had a variety of male and female patients suffering from actual shoulder pain performing a series of range of motion exercises using injured and uninjured shoulders. I asked you to watch a good video.
The patient’s facial expression was also analyzed by the “Facial Movement Coding System” (FACS). This is a comprehensive anatomical system for describing all visually identifiable facial movements.
Researchers used these FACS values in their formulas to provide an objective score of the patient’s facial expression intensity.
Participants measure the amount of pain that patients in the video think they have experienced on a scale from zero labeled “no pain at all” to 100 labeled “worst possible pain.” Was asked.
In the second experiment, researchers duplicated the first part of the study, with 200 participants.
This time, after watching the video, I asked them to fill out the “Pain Gender Role Expectation Questionnaire” (GREP).
GREP measures gender-related stereotypes of pain susceptibility, pain endurance, and willingness to report pain.
Researchers admitted that it is unclear whether their findings can be generalized to pain disorders other than shoulder pain (stock image).
Observers also shared the amount of medication and psychotherapy prescribed to each patient and which of these treatments they believe is more effective in treating each patient.
The researchers analyzed the results of participants’ responses to the video by comparing them with patient self-reported pain levels and facial facial expression intensity data.
Overall, female patients reported pain of the same intensity and felt less painful than the male patients shown.
Additional analysis using participants’ responses to GREP allowed researchers to conclude that these perceptions were partially explained by these stereotypes.
Psychotherapy was also selected as more effective than drug therapy due to the higher proportion of female patients compared to male patients.
Interestingly, the observer’s gender did not affect the pain estimation. In other words, both men and women interpreted that women’s pain was not so strong.
Previous studies have shown that women are often prescribed less treatment than men and wait longer to receive that treatment.
2016 survey Women with chronic pain have found a healthcare provider who believes they are more likely to exaggerate the pain of prescribing psychotherapy for female patients and opioids for male patients.
According to women, women had to wait for prescribed treatment for acute abdomen pain more than men 2008 survey..
“There is a fairly extensive literature showing demographic differences in pain reports, prevalence of clinical pain conditions, and demographic differences in the treatment of pain,” said Professor Losin.
“One of the important pieces of information that can be conveyed in the medical curriculum is that even those with medical education in other studies have a consistent demographic bias in how they assess pain in male and female patients. We know that bias influences treatment decisions.
“Critically, our results show that these gender biases are not always accurate.”
According to Professor Losin, this study provides better results for patients in the clinical setting compared to previous studies using actors posed in stimulation videos.
“One of the benefits of using these videos for patients who are actually experiencing pain from injury is that they have their own pain assessment,” she said.
“We had a ground truth to work with. If it was a stimulus with an actor pretending to be suffering, it wouldn’t be possible.”
Researchers admitted that it is unclear whether their findings can be generalized to pain disorders other than shoulder pain.
Another limitation of this study is that most observers have no experience in medical education or practice. This suggests that healthcare professionals in this area can more accurately recognize pain levels in men and women.
Experts show that men are more sensitive to pain than women – especially if they are repeatedly injured.
According to a 2019 survey, men clearly remember pain before women, and as a result, they are more stressed by later pain in the same place (stock image).
Men are more sensitive to pain than women, a 2019 study by Current Biology suggests.
Research authors at McGill University and the University of Toronto Mississauga have found that men clearly remember their previous painful experiences.
As a result, they became stressed when they returned to the places they had previously experienced and became hypersensitive to later pain.
The woman did not seem to be stressed by her previous pain experience.
Scientists increasingly believe that one of the driving forces of chronic pain (the biggest health problem in terms of both prevalence and burden) appears to be a memory of previous pain.
Studies were conducted in mice and then in humans to confirm the findings, and scientists said it could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of chronic pain.
Research author Jeffrey Mogil, a professor of pain research at McGill University, said:
“So I decided to extend the experiment to humans to see if the results were similar.
“We were surprised to see that the same differences we saw with mice seem to be between men and women.”
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