Medical students' attitudes toward pain and the use of opioid analgesics: Implications for changing medical school curriculum

Sharon M. Weinstein, Lila F. Laux, Jack I. Thornby, Ronald J. Lorimor, C. S. Hill, Debbie M. Thorpe, Joseph M. Merrill

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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Abstract

Background. Barriers to pain management include physicians' lack of knowledge and attitudes. Our aim was to investigate future physicians' knowledge and attitudes toward pain and the use of opioid analgesics. Methods. We tested a medical school class during their freshman and senior years. Stepwise regression analysis was used to identify the personal traits that predicted opiophobia. Results. The professionalization process of medical training may reinforce negative attitudes. Psychologic characteristics were associated with reluctance to prescribe opioids, and fears of patient addiction and drug regulatory agency sanctions. Conclusions. Consistent attitudes were found in senior medical students with preferences for certain specialty areas and the practitioners of their future specialties, suggesting a 'preselection' effect. Higher scores on reliance on high technology, external locus of control, and intolerance of clinical uncertainty were associated with higher scores on one or more of the three dimensions of opiophobia. Implications for medical education are discussed.

LanguageEnglish
Pages472-478
Number of pages7
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Volume93
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2000

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Medical Schools
Medical Students
Curriculum
Opioid Analgesics
Pain
Physicians
Internal-External Control
Pain Management
Medical Education
Uncertainty
Fear
Substance-Related Disorders
Regression Analysis
Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Weinstein, S. M., Laux, L. F., Thornby, J. I., Lorimor, R. J., Hill, C. S., Thorpe, D. M., & Merrill, J. M. (2000). Medical students' attitudes toward pain and the use of opioid analgesics: Implications for changing medical school curriculum. Southern Medical Journal, 93(5), 472-478.

Medical students' attitudes toward pain and the use of opioid analgesics : Implications for changing medical school curriculum. / Weinstein, Sharon M.; Laux, Lila F.; Thornby, Jack I.; Lorimor, Ronald J.; Hill, C. S.; Thorpe, Debbie M.; Merrill, Joseph M.

In: Southern Medical Journal, Vol. 93, No. 5, 05.2000, p. 472-478.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Weinstein, SM, Laux, LF, Thornby, JI, Lorimor, RJ, Hill, CS, Thorpe, DM & Merrill, JM 2000, 'Medical students' attitudes toward pain and the use of opioid analgesics: Implications for changing medical school curriculum' Southern Medical Journal, vol 93, no. 5, pp. 472-478.
Weinstein SM, Laux LF, Thornby JI, Lorimor RJ, Hill CS, Thorpe DM et al. Medical students' attitudes toward pain and the use of opioid analgesics: Implications for changing medical school curriculum. Southern Medical Journal. 2000 May;93(5):472-478.
Weinstein, Sharon M. ; Laux, Lila F. ; Thornby, Jack I. ; Lorimor, Ronald J. ; Hill, C. S. ; Thorpe, Debbie M. ; Merrill, Joseph M./ Medical students' attitudes toward pain and the use of opioid analgesics : Implications for changing medical school curriculum. In: Southern Medical Journal. 2000 ; Vol. 93, No. 5. pp. 472-478
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