The Effect of Implicit Stereotypes on Medical Professionals' Health Behavior Change Recommendations for Hispanic Patients
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe present study investigated the role of implicit stereotyping of Hispanic patients on medical decision-making among students in the medical profession. Students first completed a lexical decision task to measure their implicit stereotyping of noncompliance and health risk for Hispanic patients. Then, participants responded a to medical case vignette involving either a Hispanic or White patient. Participants were instructed to make immediate treatment decisions, preventive lifestyle recommendations, and to rate the importance of certain factors in their decisions. Implicit bias was demonstrated for the health risk stereotype but not the non-compliance stereotype. Recommendations were compared based on patient race and level of implicit stereotype activation. Results demonstrated a main effect for patient race. Participants were more likely to recommend lifestyle changes to the White patient compared to the Hispanic patient. In addition, participants, on average, recommended more rigorous lifestyle changes for the Hispanic patient compared to the White patient. Implicit stereotyping only moderated the relationship of race and treatment recommendations for recommendations for smoking cessation treatment plans, alcohol reduction, and cardiovascular exercise. In addition, it was found that participants with high noncompliance implicit stereotyping rated factors relating to non-compliance as more important to their decision when treating the Hispanic patient.
Degree ProgramHonors College