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Unequal Treatment

Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care

; Editors: Brian D. Smedley, Adrienne Y. Stith, and Alan R. Nelson.

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .

Racial and ethnic disparities in health care are known to reflect access to care and other issues that arise from differing socioeconomic conditions. There is, however, increasing evidence that even after such differences are accounted for, race and ethnicity remain significant predictors of the quality of health care received.

In Unequal Treatment, a panel of experts documents this evidence and explores how persons of color experience the health care environment. The book examines how disparities in treatment may arise in health care systems and looks at aspects of the clinical encounter that may contribute to such disparities. Patients' and providers' attitudes, expectations, and behavior are analyzed.

How to intervene? Unequal Treatment offers recommendations for improvements in medical care financing, allocation of care, availability of language translation, community-based care, and other arenas. The committee highlights the potential of cross-cultural education to improve provider-patient communication and offers a detailed look at how to integrate cross-cultural learning within the health professions. The book concludes with recommendations for data collection and research initiatives. Unequal Treatment will be vitally important to health care policymakers, administrators, providers, educators, and students as well as advocates for people of color.

Contents

Support for this project was provided by the Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Additional support for data collection activities was provided by The Commonwealth Fund and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The views presented in this report are those of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Understanding and Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care and are not necessarily those of the funding agencies.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Bookshelf ID: NBK220358PMID: 25032386DOI: 10.17226/12875

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