Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Elizabeth A. Reynolds Losin

Second Committee Member

Barry E. Hurwitz

Third Committee Member

David A. Lubarsky


Racial and ethnic minorities in the US and other countries have been found to report higher levels of both clinical and experimental pain, yet are frequently undertreated for their pain. Although racial/ethnic group differences in pain report are now well-documented, the underlying causes of these pain report disparities remain largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated the role of doctor-patient racial/ethnic concordance in predicting patient pain report. We report a preliminary analysis drawn from a larger study. Participants were assigned to either a racial/ethnic concordant or discordant simulated clinical interaction in which a doctor participant administered a series of painful heat stimulations to a patient participant. We report a direct effect of doctor-patient racial/ethnic concordance on patient pain. Patients reported greater pain when paired with a racial/ethnic concordant doctor, and also rated concordant doctors as lower in trust/similarity. Our results demonstrate that the effects of racial/ethnic concordance may go deeper than patient satisfaction to influence the more direct health outcome of pain.


doctor-patient; racial/ethnic concordance; similarity; trust; pain; health disparities

Available for download on Friday, October 09, 2020