PRP013: Addressing Infant Mortality: Healthcare Provider Understanding of Racial Disparities

Zainab Zullali; Kasey Pickard


Context: Black infant mortality (IM) is at 2-3 times the rate of their white counterparts in this country. Due to studies consistently showing that genetics, income levels, maternal education, and many other socioeconomic factors do not fully account for these differences, there has been a growing call for consideration of racism and bias itself, particularly its role in patient/provider relationships, as a key contributing factor in racially disparate healthcare outcomes. Few studies have investigated the beliefs held by practicing healthcare providers about inequal healthcare outcomes, which are examined in this study. Objective: To assess healthcare provider awareness of the racial disparity in IM, their perspectives on root causes, and their proposed solutions to this disparity as compared to current literature. We seek to understand where improvements can be made in healthcare workers understanding and assuming a professional responsibility to addressing racial differences in IM as a healthcare crisis. Study Design: Anonymous survey to collect qualitative and quantitative data about physician perspectives, which includes rating scales, written responses, demographic information, and multiple-choice responses. Setting or Dataset: Providers (MD, DO, PA, DNP) from specialties including family medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics, and other primary care settings. These providers came from settings including academic hospitals, community/private practice, federally qualified health centers, and health systems. Population Studied: Active prescribing medical providers in Colorado that work with pregnant women or infants and children. Outcome Measures: Primary outcome is whether surveyed providers in Colorado are aware of the racial disparity of IM. Secondary outcomes include the level of awareness of providers about disparities in IM, factors that providers believe contribute to this disparity, and responses by providers for possible solutions to the disparity. Outcomes to be reported: Scale ratings of provider’s belief of the existence of racial disparity in IM nationally, in Colorado, and in their practice; provider understanding of the trend in the disparity in IM; beliefs about contributing factors to disparity in IM; and proposed solutions. Outcomes may be stratified by provider characteristics for examination of statistically significant differences (e.g. by specialty, race, place of practice, age).

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