The Experience of Discrimination and Black-White Health Disparities in Medical Care

Penner, Louis A.; Dovidio, John F.; Edmondson, Donald E.; Dailey, Rhonda K.; Markova, Tsveti; Albrecht, Terrance L.; Gaertner, Samuel L.

The current study of Black patients focuses on how discrimination contributes to racial disparities in health. The authors used a longitudinal methodology to study how perceived past discrimination affects reactions to medical interactions and adherence to physician recommendations. In addition, they explored whether these reactions and/or adherence mediate the relationship between discrimination and patients' health. The participants in this study were 156 Black patients of low socioeconomic status at a primary care clinic. Patients completed questionnaires on their current health, past adherence, and perceived past discrimination. Then, they saw a physician and rated their reactions to the visit. Four and 16 weeks later they reported on their adherence to physician recommendations and overall health. Perceived discrimination was significantly and negatively associated with patient health, reactions to the physician, and adherence. Path analyses indicated that adherence mediated the relationship between discrimination and patient health, but patient reactions to the interaction did not.


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Also Published In

Journal of Black Psychology

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health
SAGE Publications
Published Here
July 12, 2016