The effect of medical authoritarianism on physicians' treatment decisions and attitudes regarding chronic pain

Diana J. Burgess, John Dovidio, Sean Phelan, Michelle Van Ryn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the influence of medical authoritarianism (MA) on physicians' treatment decisions and attitudes regarding chronic pain among a randomly selected sample of primary care physicians (N=382) who responded to a mail survey. As hypothesized, high-MA physicians had more negative attitudes toward chronic pain patients, greater concerns about prescription drug abuse, and more negative attitudes toward the use of opioids to treat chronic pain than did low-MA physicians. Despite these negative attitudes, high-MA physicians were more likely than were low-MA physicians to recommend the aggressive use of opioids. The results point to the complex relationship between MA and physician attitudes and decisions, and provide insights into how political ideology might influence physician behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1399-1420
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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