Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Marianne Miserandino

Abstract

Racial disparities in the diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of multiple diseases in the U.S. have been well documented. Racial bias among healthcare providers is thought to be a significant contributor to these disparities. Currently, a primary goal in public health is to determine how this bias affects patient care. Several studies have identified various components of healthcare communication associated with providers’ implicit bias. The goal of this thesis is to synthesize this information into a comprehensive understanding of the effects of implicit racial bias on healthcare communication. Healthcare providers with greater implicit bias tend to demonstrate greater social dominance and less patient-centeredness when communicating with non-White patients. These communicative behaviors damage patients’ perceptions of their providers, leading to distrust, dissatisfaction, and a belief that providers are racist or discriminatory. Perceived discrimination subsequently worsens patients’ communication, particularly through more negative and less positive affect.These communicative behaviors may cause providers to perceive their patients as cold or disrespectful. Negative perceptions of the patient further worsen the provider’s communication. Ultimately, implicit bias damages both sides of the patient-provider interaction in a self-perpetuating cycle that, over time, may seriously impair the patient’s relationship with the healthcare system and contribute to racial disparities in healthcare.

Share

COinS
 

Implicit racial bias in healthcare communication

Racial disparities in the diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of multiple diseases in the U.S. have been well documented. Racial bias among healthcare providers is thought to be a significant contributor to these disparities. Currently, a primary goal in public health is to determine how this bias affects patient care. Several studies have identified various components of healthcare communication associated with providers’ implicit bias. The goal of this thesis is to synthesize this information into a comprehensive understanding of the effects of implicit racial bias on healthcare communication. Healthcare providers with greater implicit bias tend to demonstrate greater social dominance and less patient-centeredness when communicating with non-White patients. These communicative behaviors damage patients’ perceptions of their providers, leading to distrust, dissatisfaction, and a belief that providers are racist or discriminatory. Perceived discrimination subsequently worsens patients’ communication, particularly through more negative and less positive affect.These communicative behaviors may cause providers to perceive their patients as cold or disrespectful. Negative perceptions of the patient further worsen the provider’s communication. Ultimately, implicit bias damages both sides of the patient-provider interaction in a self-perpetuating cycle that, over time, may seriously impair the patient’s relationship with the healthcare system and contribute to racial disparities in healthcare.

 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.