Clinical Review

Racial Differences in Adherence to Prescribed Analgesia in Cancer Patients: An Integrated Review of Quantitative Research



Together, the available evidence indicates that both patients’ socioeconomic status and clinician treatment bias contributes to racial and ethnic disparities in analgesic adherence for cancer pain and subsequent cancer pain outcomes. Thus, future research should investigate interventions for improving analgesic adherence among low-income minorities. Also, there is a need for clinician-level interventions focusing on cognitive bias modification related to cancer pain and side effects management, which appears to relate to analgesic nonadherence among racial/ethnic minorities. In addition, further research is needed to (1) rigorously describe analgesic and opioid adherence for cancer pain, (2) elucidate racial/ethnic and other socioeconomic and clinical disparities in analgesic and opioid adherence for cancer pain; (3) and clarify the role of analgesic and opioid adherence for cancer patients including outcomes for the patients and the health care system.

Corresponding author: Salimah H. Meghani, PhD, MBE, RN, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Room 337, Fagin Hall, 418 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104,

Financial disclosures: None.

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