Eye patients from minority backgrounds less likely to report respectful treatment

A US study has examined the experiences of patients in racial and ethnic minority groups who receive eye care


New research has highlighted that eye patients from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to report respectful treatment.

Reporting their findings in JAMA Opthalmology, scientists noted that individuals from these backgrounds were 23% less likely to report being treated with respect than non-Hispanic white patients.

The research involved an analysis of the 2017 National Health Interview Survey conducted in the US by the census bureau.

For all patients, those who were asked about their opinions or beliefs were close to six times more likely to report being treated with respect.

The researchers noted that further studies should explore the practical consequences of patient perceptions of respect within their care – such as missed appointments or delays in care.

They added that additional research could also examine whether the race and ethnicity of healthcare professionals affects patient perceptions of care.

“This is an important factor to identify because clinicians sharing the same race and ethnicity as their patient has been associated with improved health outcomes,” they emphasised.