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Assessment of Biases Against Latinos and African Americans Among Primary Care Providers and Community Members

Rating

Objectives. We assessed implicit and explicit bias against both Latinos and

African Americans among experienced primary care providers (PCPs) and
community members (CMs) in the same geographic area.
Methods. Two hundred ten PCPs and 190 CMs from 3 health care organizations
in the Denver, Colorado, metropolitan area completed Implicit Association
Tests and self-report measures of implicit and explicit bias, respectively.
Results. With a 60% participation rate, the PCPs demonstrated substantial
implicit bias against both Latinos and African Americans, but this was no
different from CMs. Explicit bias was largely absent in both groups. Adjustment
for background characteristics showed the PCPs had slightly weaker ethnic/racial
bias than CMs.
Conclusions. This research provided the first evidence of implicit bias against
Latinos in health care, as well as confirming previous findings of implicit bias
against African Americans. Lack of substantive differences in bias between the
experienced PCPs and CMs suggested a wider societal problem. At the same
time, the wide range of implicit bias suggested that bias in health care is neither
uniform nor inevitable, and important lessons might be learned from providers
who do not exhibit bias. (Am J Public Health. 2013;103:92–98. doi:10.2105/AJPH.
2012.300812)

This article from the American Journal of Public Health is on implicit bias.

Authors: Irene V. Blair, PhD, Edward P. Havranek, MD, David W. Price, MD, Rebecca Hanratty, MD, Diane L. Fairclough, DrPH, Tillman Farley, MD, Holen K. Hirsh, PhD, and John F. Steiner, MD, MPH

Objectives. We assessed implicit and explicit bias against both Latinos and African Americans among experienced primary care providers (PCPs) and community members (CMs) in the same geographic area.

Methods. Two hundred ten PCPs and 190 CMs from 3 health care organizationsin the Denver, Colorado, metropolitan area completed Implicit Association Tests and self-report measures of implicit and explicit bias, respectively.

Results. With a 60% participation rate, the PCPs demonstrated substantial implicit bias against both Latinos and African Americans, but this was no different from CMs. Explicit bias was largely absent in both groups. Adjustment for background characteristics showed the PCPs had slightly weaker ethnic/racial bias than CMs.

Conclusions. This research provided the first evidence of implicit bias against Latinos in health care, as well as confirming previous findings of implicit bias against African Americans. Lack of substantive differences in bias between the experienced PCPs and CMs suggested a wider societal problem. At the same time, the wide range of implicit bias suggested that bias in health care is neither uniform nor inevitable, and important lessons might be learned from providers who do not exhibit bias.

(Am J Public Health. 2013;103:92–98. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300812)

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