Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic condition affecting many people in the United States. Proper SCD care is critical, yet, the unpredictability of pain crises may necessitate frequent emergency room (ED) visits. In addition, the SCD trait has resulted in health-related stigmatization through labels and other clinical terms, which may be translated through medical research. To prevent such stigmas from spreading into the therapeutic context, medical literature should use person-centered language (PCL). For a study, researchers sought to determine the available evidence on PCL adherence in people with SCD.

It was a study using a cross-sectional design. SCD research with human subjects published between January 1, 2015, and April 14, 2021, was chosen. Two investigators performed masked, duplicate screening and data processing, with disagreements and inconsistencies addressed by an adjudicator. χ2 tests for data analysis and linear and logistic regressions were applied.

After removing editorials and opinions, just 200 items remained. They discovered that 186 papers (94%) followed PCL. Labeling occurred in two articles (1%) with non-PCL, while emotional language signifying pain was found in ten articles (5%).

The findings implied that PCL is widely used in contemporary SCD literature. However, data indicate a significant gap between education and practice since recent papers highlight the usage of non-PCL language in EDs. Biases in health care should be recognized, and institutional resources should be used toward promoting awareness.

Reference: jem-journal.com/article/S0736-4679(21)01057-X/fulltext