Atul Butte from Stanford University in the US, the senior author of the study, said: “We saw higher pain scores for female patients practically across the board.
“In many cases, the reported difference approached a full point on the one-to-10 scale.”
Explaining how big a difference that was, he said: “A pain-score improvement of one point is what clinical researchers view as indicating that a pain medication is working.”
The biggest differences were in problems with joints, digestion, circulation and breathing disorders.
Areas to think about:
- What confounding factors and biases might be responsible for the differences?
- If the difference is real, what physiological and psychological factors may be responsible for it?
- How should this information be used by clinicians?