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J Health Soc Behav. 2012 Sep;53(3):329-43. doi: 10.1177/0022146512445807. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Racial-ethnic biases, time pressure, and medical decisions.

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  • 1The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-1152, USA. irena@uab.edu

Abstract

This study examined two types of potential sources of racial-ethnic disparities in medical care: implicit biases and time pressure. Eighty-one family physicians and general internists responded to a case vignette describing a patient with chest pain. Time pressure was manipulated experimentally. Under high time pressure, but not under low time pressure, implicit biases regarding blacks and Hispanics led to a less serious diagnosis. In addition, implicit biases regarding blacks led to a lower likelihood of a referral to specialist when physicians were under high time pressure. The results suggest that when physicians face stress, their implicit biases may shape medical decisions in ways that disadvantage minority patients.

PMID:
22811465
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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