Racial Disparity Essay

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Despite the growing body of work that correlates disparate racial treatment and survival outcomes to the implicit biases of clinical practitioners, the majority of research on the root causes of racial health disparities has and continues to largely focus on individual and group-level socioeconomic status (SES), cultural attitudes, lifestyle and behavioral choices, as well as access to quality care and health insurance coverage. Clinically, epidemiological studies and comprehensive healthcare data assessments consistently show disparities in quality measures for socially disadvantaged ethnic and racial groups. Racial and ethnic differences in quality measures are most commonly noted in the areas of preventive care, experience of care, chronic…show more content…
The results, much like the pain diagnosis and treatment disparity studies, are mixed. For example, a recent study by Oliver et al. evaluated the extent to which physician racial bias, explicit or implicit, determined whether they would recommend a total knee replacement (TKR) for Black patients suffering from severe osteoarthritis (OA). African Americans are diagnosed for OA at a higher rate than Whites yet TKR treatment rates are consistently lower. Participating physicians in the study were presented with a mock clinical case study featuring a photo of either an older White or Black man and instructed to fill out a questionnaire assessing whether the fictitious patient would be an ideal candidate for TKR. Participants were measured for implicit racial biases using the traditional race preference IAT as well as the race medical cooperativeness IAT either before (the experimental group) or after (the control group) reviewing the case study and determining a treatment

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