Healthcare News & Insights

Report: Doctors’ lack of ‘sensitivity’ may cause more strokes in some patients

Could lack of “multicultural awareness” be putting black patients at more risk for stroke?

That’s the question raised during a presentation at a recent forum hosted by the American Heart Association.

Researchers presented findings from doctor and patient surveys that they say show doctors in the so-called Stroke Belt aren’t sufficiently trained to interact effectively with patients of different races.

The Stroke Belt is a large area including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, with a particularly high rate of strokes and other cardiovascular disease.

Differences in how doctors and patients interact may explain part of the reason why a recent study found stroke rates are rising by nearly 5% among blacks.

According to the researchers, about 20% of doctors said multicultural awareness was of “low importance” in treating patients, with black doctors more likely to cite its importance. A companion survey found that patients said black doctors were more likely to ask them what role their family members play in health decisions, and to take more time explaining health consequences when patients were confused.

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  1. And? What in the report shows that Black patients are at a higher rate of stroke from this? It would be interesting to know if the study saw increased stroke incidents in all patients in these geographic areas. If that were so it would make sense that Blacks are at higher risk than the national average because the states listed probaly have a higher percentage of blacks in the population served. This percentage could also be why the Black Dr. is more likely to ask about family. As we see more foriegn physicians practicing everywhere it only makes sense that a hometown Dr. from any geographic region is going to connect better with the patient from that area. If the scenerio I used (foriegn Dr. vs. Homegrown) is an underlying factor then the report could be titled: HOMETOWN DOCTORS MORE LIKELY TO BE AWARE OF CULTURE OF LOCAL PATIENTS. Now is that really earth shattering news? I don’t think so. Numbers can be used to show any number of things including reverse discrimination which I feel is probaly the case here. Who sponsered the study? The NAACP? I am willing to bet that Black doctors have death rates in White patients at 60% higher than the average death rate in certain geogrphic areas especialy where 60 -70 % of the population is white. Heck send me the money and I will even do a research study to prove it. This is the same thing this study did. Their so called stroke belt could also be called the southern states, or more politically incorrect the black population belt. Another study title comes to mind: SOUL FOOD IS HIGH CHOLESTEROL AND CAN KILL YOU. (But I still love southern cooking)