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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Racial bias by physicians providing prenatal care

Tamiko B. Younge, White Plains High School, 550 North Street, White Plains, NY 10605, 914-761-2493, tyoungeasr@hotmail.com and Karla Damus, RN, MSPH, PhD, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women's Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461.

Nowhere in the United Sates are the divisions of race more profound than in racial inequities in health. Black women are twice as likely to deliver preterm (<37 weeks of gestation) compared to white women. This has a profound impact on perinatal mortality and morbidity. Preterm birth (PTB) is an enigma-- it is the leading cause of newborn death, rates are increasing and the causes for half of PTBs are unknown. Research of sociodemographic, behavioral and other risk factors do not explain all of the excess PTB for African Americans. The 2002 IOM report Unequal Treatment found that research demonstrates significant variation in the rates of medical procedures by race, even given comparable insurance status, income, age, and severity of conditions. The study committee also found that evidence that stereotyping, racial biases, and uncertainty on the part of healthcare providers can all contribute to disparities. But whether racial bias is a contributing factor to the black/white PTB gap has not been adequately investigated. To examine these important issues, physicians providing prenatal care were surveyed to determine their knowledge, attitudes and intended clinical management related to racial disparities in maternal and infant health. Physicians were aware of some racial disparities in perinatal health. However, reported clinical management was influenced by patient race. Responses also differed based on the characteristics of the physician. Findings also suggest the need for cultural sensitivity training for physicians to enhance equity of care and minimize the provider contribution to the racial disparity of preterm birth.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Disparities, Prenatal Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Community Research Forum

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA