Racial Bias Affects Quality of Health Care for Black Men: Study

Courtesy of BET.com
Courtesy of BET.com

When it comes to the quality of care provided to black men by white health care professionals, bias and fear play significant roles, leading to drops in level of the care extended, according to a study by the School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Results from the study, titled “Healthcare Providers’ Formative Experiences with Race and Black Male Patients in Urban Hospital Environments,” reveal that many health care providers had personal experiences that produced biases and stereotypes relating to black men. In some cases, this often lead to fear or discomfort when treating black male patients.

“Whether explicit or implicit, our racial biases can direct patients to different and unequal treatments,” said Jennifer Taylor, associate professor of public health at Drexel University and co-author of the study. “Participants in this study told us they had little useful training on how to deal with their own implicit bias that may affect the quality and safety of the patient care they give.”

Researchers interviewed physicians, nurses and medical students at two urban university hospitals for the study, which can be accessed on the websites of the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

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