Charlottesville, Virginia – A recent study, which analyzed the probable cause of under-treatments for pain in African Americans, concluded that the reason for black people to receive lower pain diagnosis may be due to the medical workers’ use of false belief about biological differences among black and white people to emit a medical inform.
Previous studies have determined that it is a fact that African Americans are systematically undertreated for pain compared to white Americans. However, the simple reason may rely on misconceptions such as the blacks have less sensitive nerve endings than whites or that black people’s blood coagulates more, as reported by the Washington Post.
Researchers from the University of Virginia tested white medical and residents’ knowledge about the topic and found that fully half of them thought, at least, one of the false statements presented was possibly, probably or definitely true.
In addition, those medical workers who assured the false belief to be true often rated black patients’ pain with a lower score than white patients suffering from the same condition. They also made less appropriate recommendations to treat the diagnosed pain.
This offers an opening to the false facts that future physicians could have in mind and an explanation to the undertreatment of pain in African Americans, even though the results are just associations and cannot be interpreted as cause and effect.
The University of Virginia study had two parts, one analyzed random samples of 92 whites from across the country; and the second part quizzed 222 white medical students and residents at the university and elsewhere.
For the two parts, it was given to the subjects a series of statements that contained both, accurate and inaccurate information about the possible biological differences between whites and blacks.
“We were expecting some endorsement,” of the mistaken facts, commented Kelly Hoffman, a U-Va. doctoral candidate in psychology and study leader.
But, they were surprised at the number of medical workers with training that endorsed the false belief.
“What we found is those who endorsed more of those false beliefs showed more bias and were less accurate in their treatment recommendations,” Hoffman added.
Source: The Washington Post