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Pain-Study Participation Rate Varies by Ethnicity

Different recruitment methods may be needed to ensure representative study samples

MONDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Different types of recruiting methods for pain studies may be more successful in some ethnic groups than others, and these differences may help explain why some studies have found that pain sensitivity can vary with ethnicity, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Roger B. Fillingim, Ph.D., of the University of Florida College of Dentistry in Gainesville, and colleagues screened 525 healthy subjects (328 women, 197 men) from three ethnic groups: blacks, Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites.

Among those screened, the researchers found that a smaller proportion of black respondents (35.5 percent) enrolled in the study compared to whites (48.9 percent) and Hispanics (42.3 percent). They also found that more telephone calls were needed to complete screening of black and Hispanic subjects, and that a greater proportion of blacks (24.2 percent) than whites (8.2 percent) or Hispanics (4.6 percent) were recruited via investigator-initiated versus participant-initiated methods.

"Interestingly, the relatively small number of participants enrolled via investigator-initiated methods were less pain sensitive than those participants recruited through participant-initiated means," the authors conclude. "These findings suggest that different methods may be used to recruit subjects from different ethnic groups, and this may influence responses to experimental pain measures."


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