This site is intended for health professionals only

Addressing the ‘gender pain gap’ subject of new review by FIP

The importance of multidisciplinary working to address specific gender needs in pain management is highlighted in a new literature review published by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP).

The review, ‘Gender-based disparities in the management of pain in pharmacy’, addressed the so-called ‘gender pain gap’ and explored the role of healthcare providers, including pharmacists, in both perpetuating and addressing these differences.

It noted that multidisciplinary care models including pharmacy, medicine, psychology and physical therapy are ‘essential for addressing complex pain conditions that require a nuanced understanding of both biological and psychosocial aspects of pain experienced by different genders’.

Collaborative working can facilitate a comprehensive approach to pain management that can lead to better patient outcomes, it said.

To this end, the review highlighted a study that investigated gender differences in multidisciplinary treatment outcomes and whether pain acceptance plays a factor in gender differences.

The study found that women showed greater improvements than men upon being discharged from a multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation programme.

This ‘may highlight the importance of an interprofessional approach when it comes to managing pain differences’, the review concluded.

Gender pain gap interventions

The FIP review also explored how pharmacists can help to close the gender pain gap and become advocates for change.

It called for the implementation of standardised gender-neutral pain assessment tools, bias training programmes and frameworks for pharmacists, informed by the latest evidence.

According to the review, interventions to overcome or reduce gender bias in clinical practice often include personalised medication management, considering factors like drug-gender interactions, side effects and compliance issues.

And retrospective chart reviews, patient follow-up, medication therapy management and patient education programmes can all be tailored to address gender-specific needs.

‘The adoption of these tailored strategies in pharmacy practice is critical for providing gender-sensitive care and improving overall pain management outcomes for patients,’ the review said.

It also highlighted the impact of technology, research and drug development and advocacy as other areas of focus.

The FIP used the review as a call to action for pharmacists to play their part in ‘paving the way for more equitable pain management, where gender disparities are acknowledged, addressed and, ultimately, eradicated’.

Earlier this month, the FIP published a new guide for pharmacists across all sectors to support the prevention and management of iron deficiency anaemia.

Be in the know
Subscribe to Hospital Pharmacy Europe newsletter and magazine