Confronting Racism in Pain Research: A Call to Action

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been a significant focus of the Pain Management Collaboratory’s research. In this three-part series, the authors examine the gaps in addressing diversity, inequities and racism in pain research.

In part one of the three-part series on addressing racism in pain research, the authors provide historical and theoretical background of racism as a foundation for understanding how an antiracism pain research framework can be incorporated across the continuum of pain research. The authors describe and cite cultural humility as a lifelong self-awareness process critical to ending generalizations and successfully applying antiracism research practices. This article provides the current common approaches in language and practices used in research frameworks, and follows with proposed shifts and rationales. The authors encourage consideration of issues such as power, privilege, racism, and other forms of oppression to help address long-standing social problems that exacerbate the pain experience and inadequate pain management.