Epidemiologic overview of pain treatment in the emergency department

Polly Bijur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter considers the healthcare resource of pain treatment, with focus on findings relevant to acute care analgesia provision. It discusses the evolution of emergency department (ED) analgesia provision over time and overviews the clinically relevant lessons of research into disparities in pain medication administration. The treatment of pain in older adults can be impacted by age bias. Analgesia provision in geriatric patients is also affected by myriad issues relating to drug interactions and side effects. Two retrospective studies suggest that women receive significantly more analgesics than men. However, the preponderance of evidence argues against gender-related pain treatment. In contrast to the situations with race, ethnicity, and age, it appears that gender is not a major determinant of analgesia administration. Evidence of long waiting times to treatment, suboptimal pain relief, and high levels of pain on discharge indicate that we are only beginning to address oligoanalgesia in the ED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmergency Department Analgesia
Subtitle of host publicationAn Evidence-Based Guide
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780511544835
ISBN (Print)9780521696012
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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