A disproportionate number of black parents believe they receive discriminatory medical care because of their skin color.
A report released this week by the Urban Institute, using June data from the nonprofit’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey, found that about 22% of black parents reported unfair judgments or abuse based on their race, race, language, health insurance status or weight having experienced , income or disability, CNN reported.
Black parents reported abuse nearly 10% more often than parents who are white, Hispanic, or identify as other races.
Dulce Gonzalez, senior researcher at the Urban Institute and co-author of the study, said these experiences disproportionately affect parents of color, especially black parents, and their children.
“Understanding and disrupting these experiences of undertreatment and health care could therefore be an important step in resolving many of the racial and ethnic health disparities that we see,” Gonzalez added, CNN reported.
The survey was conducted online among a nationally representative sample of 9,494 Americans ages 18 to 64. However, the analysis was based on responses from 2,981 parents with children under the age of 19.
Black parents frequently cited their race, ethnicity, country of origin, and mother tongue as reasons for their perceived unfair treatment.
Gonzalez claimed that unfair treatment could seriously affect patients’ health, increase their stress and make them more skeptical of the healthcare system, which could lead them to skip important treatments.
The survey found that 7 out of 10 parents who alleged abuse were more likely to delay therapy after these encounters.
“There will be many changes on multiple fronts that … not only address implicit and explicit biases that providers and their staff may hold toward people of color,” Gonzalez noted, “but also simply broader changes in how we deliver healthcare.”
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