4 min read

News Roundup | Week of March 30, 2018

By Megan Bedford on 3/30/18 9:57 AM

Implicit Bias Controversy Based on Misunderstandings

Implicit bias, and especially the Implicit Association Test (IAT), has been the subject of recent debate in both scientific and popular press. Is the IAT accurate? Are its findings useful? Does the concept of implicit bias impede efforts to address explicit bias? A new piece in Scientific American argues that the controversy around implicit bias and the IAT is based on fundamental misunderstandings. For example, the IAT isn't designed to predict individual behavior, like how a particular physician will interact with a particular patient. Rather, the aggregate data can help predict (and correct) big-picture functions.

Topics: health equity health disparities unconscious bias News Roundup maternal mortality
4 min read

News Roundup | Week of March 9, 2018

By Megan Bedford on 3/9/18 3:42 PM

Cancer Screening Recommendations Put Nonwhite Women at Risk

In the United States, the recommended age for women to begin routine mammograms for cancer screening was recently increased to 50 years of age. This was based on a study of 747,763 mostly white women showing that breast cancer diagnoses peaked in their 60s. But researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have published a new study in JAMA Surgery that shows black, Hispanic, and Asian women tend to get breast cancer earlier than white women. A lack of data from racially diverse populations could put nonwhite women at risk for delayed diagnosis. According to David Chang, PhD, MBA, MPH, of the MGH department of surgery and an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, "The situation with breast cancer is one of the best examples of how science done without regard to racial differences can produce guidelines that would be ultimately harmful to minority patients."

Topics: stigma cancer care health equity health disparities unconscious bias News Roundup
4 min read

News Roundup | Week of February 23, 2018

By Megan Bedford on 2/23/18 1:16 PM


Physicians Feel Unequipped to Treat Transgender Patients

The transgender population is underserved by the healthcare system, and one reason may be provider hesitancy. To meet the medical needs of transgender people, healthcare organizations, together with medical schools and residency programs, must incorporate training and content on how to care for transgender patients.

Topics: health equity unconscious bias News Roundup LGTBQ population cultural competency
4 min read

7 Questions You Have About Unconscious Bias, Answered by Dr. Betancourt

By Joseph Betancourt, MD, MPH on 2/15/18 11:55 AM

Last week our live learning event, Unconscious Bias in Medical-Decision Making, was attended by 225 organizations from 40 states in the U.S., Canada, and Switzerland. In this blog post, Dr. Joseph Betancourt responds to seven questions we didn't have time to answer during the event.

Topics: health equity unconscious bias
5 min read

News Roundup | Week of February 2, 2018

By Megan Bedford on 2/2/18 4:55 PM

New Report Links Black Maternal Mortality to Racial Bias

The Center for American Progress released a new report on the high death rates among black mothers and infants in the U.S. As previously reported here, black mothers die at at rate three to four times higher than white mothers, and infants born to black women die at twice the rate of those born to white women. The disparity is driving the country's overall maternal mortality rate, which is the worst in the developed world. This growing crisis can't be explained by socioeconomic factors. The report presents research showing that risk factors including income, education, and physical and mental health cannot account for the disparity in outcomes. Instead, the report points to systematic racial bias, including within the healthcare system. 

Topics: health equity health disparities unconscious bias News Roundup maternal mortality
3 min read

News Roundup | Week of January 8, 2018

By Megan Bedford on 1/12/18 3:55 PM

Stress Leads to Health Disparities Among Minority and Low-Income Populations

A report from the American Psycholological Association finds that lower-income and racial minority populations suffer more stress than affluent and white populations. This greater stress leads to disparities in mental and physical health, and shortens life expectancy.  According to Elizabeth Brondolo, PhD, chair of an APA working group that wrote the report, stress is "one of the top 10 social determinants of health inequities." The report recommends interventions to help ease the impact of stress on health, including improved communication between patients and caregivers.

Topics: mental health cancer care health equity health disparities News Roundup maternal mortality
5 min read

News Roundup | Week of December 18, 2017

By Megan Bedford on 12/22/17 11:56 AM

Racism May Cause the Loss of Black Infants

In the U.S., black babies die at twice the rate of white babies. According to Arthur James, an OB-GYN at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University in Columbus, the majority of black infants that die are born premature, because black mothers have a higher risk of early labor. Research has shown that this gap can't be explained by poverty, education, or genetics. Around the world, women of similar economic and genetic histories routinely give birth to healthy, full-term babies. But there's something about growing up black in America that leads African-American mothers to have babies that are comparatively smaller and less healthy.

Topics: health equity unconscious bias LGTBQ population cultural competency maternal mortality
2 min read

What Are Leading Organizations Doing to Achieve Health Equity?

By Megan Bedford on 9/28/17 1:07 PM

This has been a banner year for Moffitt Cancer Center, with five national distinctions honoring their steadfast commitment to equitable care, including recent recognition from the American Hospital Association (AHA) naming Moffitt an Equity of Care Award honoree.

Topics: Language barriers cancer care health equity health disparities person-centered cross-cultural education

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