The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of weight bias and demographic characteristics on the assessment of pediatric chronic pain. Weight status, race, and sex were manipulated in a series of virtual human (VH) digital images of children. Using a web-based platform, 96 undergraduate students with health care-related majors (e.g., Health Science, Nursing, Biology, and Pre-Medicine) read a clinical vignette and provided five ratings targeting the assessment of each VH child’s pain. Students also answered a weight bias questionnaire. Group-based analyses were conducted to determine the influence of the VH child’s weight and demographic cues, as well as greater weight bias on assessment ratings. Male and VH children with obesity were rated as more likely to avoid non-preferred activities due to pain compared to female and healthy weight children, respectively (both p < .001). The pain of VH children with obesity was rated as more likely to be influenced by psychological/behavioral issues compared to the pain of healthy weight VH children (p = .022). African American VH children were rated as experiencing significantly greater pain than Caucasian VH children (p = .037). As child weight increased, low weight bias participants felt more sympathy, while high weight
Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 4, 2018
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