hospital bed

Study highlights differences in perception of health care delivery by race/ethnicity


Oppelt TF, et al. 1004 – Differences in the Perception of COVID-19 Healthcare Delivery Among White, Black and Hispanic Patients: A Survey Exploring Health Inequity. Presented at: American Thoracic Society International Conference; May 13-18, 2022; San Francisco (hybrid meeting).

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SAN FRANCISCO — A new study highlights disparities in perceptions of health care satisfaction among Black and Hispanic patients compared with white patients, according to data presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Researchers aimed to analyze the health equity gap by asking patients who were hospitalized for COVID-19 to voice their perceptions of their health care delivery. The researchers evaluated responses from an online survey by the Harris Poll, which included 601 US patients who were hospitalized for COVID-19 from May to June 2021. Of those, 200 were white adults, 200 were Black adults and 201 were Hispanic adults.

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The responses highlighted unique challenges in access to health care and other social determinants of health faced by Black and Hispanic patients compared with white patients, the researchers reported. Some of those challenges included patients’ employment as an essential worker who had been working during the pandemic; health insurance status; other chronic conditions; family unable to properly quarantine in a separate room; and longer distance to a provider’s office.

Overall, 86% of respondents reported overall satisfaction with their health care delivery.

Thomas F. Oppelt, PharmD

The researchers noted that disparities in perceptions of health care satisfaction were observed among Black and Hispanic patients.

Compared with white patients, Black patients were 2.5 times more likely to mention issues related to bedside manners; for example, issues with the level of personal attention and/or care received and a lack of sympathy and/or compassion from staff (20% vs. 8%; P < .1), according to the findings. Black patients were more than five times more likely than white patients to describe the team that provided their care as “careless” (11% vs. 2%; P < .5). Compared with white patients, Hispanic patients were 2.5 times more likely to describe their care team as “aggressive” (10% vs. 4%; P < .1), the researchers reported.

Similar percentages of white, Black and Hispanic patients reported positive perceptions, such as describing their care team as “friendly” and “attentive” and were overall satisfied with the care delivered.

These findings add to the “important growing understanding of ethnicity as its own variable,” Thomas F. Oppelt, PharmD, senior medical director of US medical affairs at Gilead Sciences, told Healio. “The biggest conclusion is that [for these patients with COVID-19 in this survey] their ethnicity will impact everything — not only from getting to the institution or hospital, but for follow-up and understanding of their disease and care — so extra care needs to be taken to understand their perspective throughout the entire treatment paradigm.”