Efforts Needed to Reach Underserved Communities, Advance Pain Medicine Research: Burel Goodin, PhD


The professor of anesthesiology at Washington University in St. Louis discussed the reasons behind his presentation at the 2023 AHS Annual Meeting on engaging underserved populations in pain medicine research. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"The issue is that one-size-fits-all type of medicine is no longer where it's at. A lot of the stuff that I talked about when engaging underserved populations speaks to historically marginalized groups. A lot of that is steeped in social determinants of health, whether that's issues pertaining to medical mistrust, and some of that's perpetrated, or manifests from issues around being stigmatized and healthcare system, or even discriminated against sometimes."

In the clinical trial realm, diversity and inclusion are concepts that have gained more attention, but ultimately have not shown through. An overwhelming amount of drug development trials have featured patient cohorts that are typically White, with socioeconomic backgrounds that factor little into clinical outcomes. While this may create more homogenous populations to study, it ultimately leaves out those in underserved populations or areas heavily impacted by social determinants of health.

This is an issue across neurology, and specifically, pain-focused clinical trials. At the recently concluded 2023 American Headache Society (AHS) Annual Meeting, held June 15-18, in Austin, Texas, clinicians took part in healthy discussions on how to reach these communities, and why they are vital to advancing research. Burel Goodin, PhD, a professor of anesthesiology at Washington University in St. Louis, gave a talk on the need to engage with underserved populations, and, how to properly approach them.

Following his presentation, Goodin sat down with NeurologyLive® to provide background on the reasons for the talk, and the ways to create more diverse studies. He spoke about the need to update data on therapeutic approaches for pain relief using more inclusive, ethnocentric, patient populations. Furthermore, he discussed why the ideas behind social determinants of health include several other factors outside of race and ethnicity.

Click here for more coverage of AHS 2023.

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