Health professionals' fear of being 'racist' undermines care

Health professionals contribute to ethnic inequalities in healthcare because of uncertainty and apprehension about how to interact with patients of different ethnicities from their own, UK research says.

Researchers from UK universities held focus groups with 108 health professionals and found many were anxious about appearing 'culturally inappropriate, causing affront or appearing discriminatory or racist' in consultations with patients from different ethnic groups.

In these situations, their ability to 'think and act flexibly faltered', the researchers found. Many had looked up and adopted standard 'knowledge-based' guides to consultations with people from particular cultural backgrounds.

But the researchers warned this could lead to stereotypical expectations of patients.

They concluded that healthcare should have a 'greater focus on each patient as an individual' rather than on their ethnicity.

nick.bostock@haymarket.com

View the research

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Government outlines PPE supply plans as GPs remain in dark over reimbursement

Government outlines PPE supply plans as GPs remain in dark over reimbursement

The government has outlined plans to provide 'an uninterrupted supply' of PPE during...

Four in five GPs report heavy workload as COVID-19 second wave builds

Four in five GPs report heavy workload as COVID-19 second wave builds

Four in five GPs say their practice is currently facing levels of workload that are...

Medeconomics Live: Bringing you the latest in practice management thinking

Medeconomics Live: Bringing you the latest in practice management thinking

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide essential insights...

First COVID-19 jabs to target care home residents and staff under new JCVI advice

First COVID-19 jabs to target care home residents and staff under new JCVI advice

Older adults living in care homes and staff working there will be first to receive...

GPs unable to veto virtual fitness to practise hearings during pandemic

GPs unable to veto virtual fitness to practise hearings during pandemic

GPs facing fitness to practise investigations during the COVID-19 pandemic will be...

Government rejects major NHSPS overhaul - but changes 'could ease GP service charge disputes'

Government rejects major NHSPS overhaul - but changes 'could ease GP service charge disputes'

A government review has rejected calls for a major overhaul of an NHS Property Services...