Frances Shani Parker, eldercare consultant and Detroit, Michigan author of Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes, writes this blog. Topics include eldercare, hospice, nursing homes, caregiving, dementia, death, bereavement, and older adults in general. News, practices, research, poems, stories, interviews, and videos are used often. In the top right column, you can search for various topics of interest to you. You can also subscribe to this blog or follow it by email.
Unconscious (Implicit) Healthcare Bias: Causes, Solutions (Research, Video 4:33)
Quality of healthcare always depends on the context in which it is given. Context includes
all resources available, including attitudes (overt or implicit) of healthcare
providers. Healthcare bias toward people of color is experienced widely in America. Sometimes the bias is overt, even
intentional. Other times, it is done implicitly, unconsciously, but still doing
People of color face disparities
in access to healthcare, the quality of care received, and health outcomes.
Bias in attitudes and behavior of healthcare providers has been identified as a factor that contributes to health disparities. These disparities have been confirmed by considerable research, the
Centers for Disease Control, the American Medical Association, and other
An investigation of the
extent to which implicit
racial/ethnic biasexists among healthcare professionals was done. Including reviews
of 15 studies using mostly American participants, this research examined the
relationships between healthcare professionals' implicit attitudes about
racial/ethnic groups and healthcare outcomes. These were the results:
to moderate levels of implicit racial/ethnic bias were found among healthcare
professionals in all but 1 study.
of implicit bias against Black, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, and dark-skinned people
were relatively similar across these groups.
some associations between implicit bias and healthcare outcomes were not
significant, results also showed that implicit bias was significantly related
to patient-provider interactions, treatment decisions, treatment adherence, and
patient health outcomes.
attitudes were more often significantly related to patient-provider
interactions and health outcomes than treatment processes.
Conclusion of Research:
“Most healthcare providers appear to have implicit bias in
terms of positive attitudes toward Whites and negative attitudes toward people
Clearly, more interventions targeting implicit attitudes
among healthcare professionals are needed. This video titled “How Can
Providers Reduce Unconscious Bias?” addresses this issue. David R. Williams, Professor of Public Health at the
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, has been researching health
inequities in the United States for two decades. In this video, he sits down
with Don Berwick, MD, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at IHI, to describe
three promising strategies to reduce implicit bias.