Do Certain Minority Ethnic Groups Receive Poorer Care?

According to research, in the US and UK, certain minority ethnic groups report lower patient experience scores compared to the majority population. For example, analysis of the English General Practice Patient Survey found that South Asian groups report particularly low scores compared to the White British majority.

Fig 1.
Fig 2: Age and gender-specific differences, with 95% confidence intervals, in reported GP–patient communication scores (0–100 scale) between white British patients and responders in Asian and white ethnic groups.

Even though half of the difference in these scores is explained by the concentration of South Asian patients in low-scoring primary care practices, the remaining half has been unexplained. Of course, the open question has been whether South Asian patients receive lower quality care, or whether they receive similar care, but rate this more negatively. Now, a study attempts to understand this disparity and underlying causes and their work shows that the lower scores by minority ethnic groups, at least in the context of GP surveys in England reflects worse experiences of communication compared to the White British majority.




Fig 1: Understanding why some ethnic minority patients evaluate medical care more negatively than white patients: a cross sectional analysis of a routine patient survey in English general practices.

Fig 2: Variations in GP–patient communication by ethnicity, age, and gender: evidence from a national primary care patient survey.

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