Racial and ethnic disparities in the use of health services

Bias, preferences, or poor communication?

Carol M. Ashton, Paul Haidet, Debora A Paterniti, Tracie C. Collins, Howard S. Gordon, Kimberly O'Malley, Laura A. Petersen, Barbara F. Sharf, Maria E. Suarez-Almazor, Nelda P. Wray, Richard L. Street

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

319 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

African Americans and Latinos use services that require a doctor's order at lower rates than do whites. Racial bias and patient preferences contribute to disparities, but their effects appear small. Communication during the medical interaction plays a central role in decision making about subsequent interventions and health behaviors. Research has shown that doctors have poorer communication with minority patients than with others, but problems in doctor-patient communication have received little attention as a potential cause, a remediable one, of health disparities. We evaluate the evidence that poor communication is a cause of disparities and propose some remedies drawn from the communication sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-152
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Health Services
Communication
Racism
Patient Preference
Health Behavior
Hispanic Americans
African Americans
Decision Making
Health
Research

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Health care utilization
  • Race
  • Racial disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

Cite this

Racial and ethnic disparities in the use of health services : Bias, preferences, or poor communication? / Ashton, Carol M.; Haidet, Paul; Paterniti, Debora A; Collins, Tracie C.; Gordon, Howard S.; O'Malley, Kimberly; Petersen, Laura A.; Sharf, Barbara F.; Suarez-Almazor, Maria E.; Wray, Nelda P.; Street, Richard L.

In: Journal of General Internal Medicine, Vol. 18, No. 2, 01.02.2003, p. 146-152.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ashton, CM, Haidet, P, Paterniti, DA, Collins, TC, Gordon, HS, O'Malley, K, Petersen, LA, Sharf, BF, Suarez-Almazor, ME, Wray, NP & Street, RL 2003, 'Racial and ethnic disparities in the use of health services: Bias, preferences, or poor communication?', Journal of General Internal Medicine, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 146-152. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1525-1497.2003.20532.x
Ashton, Carol M. ; Haidet, Paul ; Paterniti, Debora A ; Collins, Tracie C. ; Gordon, Howard S. ; O'Malley, Kimberly ; Petersen, Laura A. ; Sharf, Barbara F. ; Suarez-Almazor, Maria E. ; Wray, Nelda P. ; Street, Richard L. / Racial and ethnic disparities in the use of health services : Bias, preferences, or poor communication?. In: Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2003 ; Vol. 18, No. 2. pp. 146-152.
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