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Implicit bias among physicians and its prediction of thrombolysis decisions for black and white patients
GREEN Alexander R. ; CARNEY Dana R. ; PALLIN Daniel J. ; ...
CONTEXT: Studies documenting racial/ethnic disparities in health care frequently implicate physicians' unconscious biases. No study to date has measured physicians' unconscious racial bias to test whether this predicts physicians' clinical decisions. OBJECTIVE: To test whether physicians show implicit race bias and whether the magnitude of such bias predicts thrombolysis recommendations for black and white patients with acute coronary syndromes. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: An internet-based tool comprising a clinical vignette of a patient presenting to the emergency department with an acute coronary syndrome, followed by a questionnaire and three Implicit Association Tests (IATs). Study invitations were e-mailed to all internal medicine and emergency medicine residents at four academic medical centers in Atlanta and Boston; 287 completed the study, met inclusion criteria, and were randomized to either a black or white vignette patient. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: IAT scores (normal continuous variable) measuring physicians' implicit race preference and perceptions of cooperativeness. Physicians' attribution of symptoms to coronary artery disease for vignette patients with randomly assigned race, and their decisions about thrombolysis. Assessment of physicians' explicit racial biases by questionnaire. RESULTS: Physicians reported no explicit preference for white versus black patients or differences in perceived cooperativeness. In contrast, IATs revealed implicit preference
PMID : 17594129 ISSN : 0884-8734
Journal of general internal medicine A. 2007, vol. 22, n° 9, pp. 1231-1238 [8 pages] [bibl. : 28 ref.]
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