University of Colorado Led Study Finds Physican Racial Bias Does Not Impact Treatment

coloradoA new study led by a research team at the University of Colorado at Boulder finds that physician bias does not result in different treatments for Black and other minority patients seeking treatment for hypertension.

Previous studies by the research team found that about two thirds of participating physicians exhibited some degree of implicit or unconscious racial bias against African Americans and Latinos. And the doctors who were found to have racial bias were routinely rated lower by their African American patients on factors such as interpersonal interaction, communication, and trust.

The latest study found that despite the biases of physicians, there was no racial difference in treatment for 3,000 minority patients with hypertension. The data also showed that there were no racial differences in outcomes of hypertension treatment. Minorities and Whites in the study were just as likely to have had their hypertension controlled after three years of treatment.

The study, “An Investigation of Associations Between Clinicians’ Ethnic or Racial Bias and Hypertension Treatment, Medication Adherence and Blood Pressure Control,” was published in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. It may be accessed here.

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