Event Title

Assessing How Cultural Competence Could Identify Color Blind Racial Attitudes Contributing to Health Disparities

Mentor 1

Dr. Sarah Morgan

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 3:45 PM

Description

Background: Although health care advancements have knowingly changed the way health care providers deliver care and have considerably improved patient provider relationships, health disparities among ethnic minority groups continue. These continued disparities result in cyclical inequalities among lower socioeconomic minority families thus contributing to generations of health related issues. Even though current studies are examining methods for eliminating health disparities and barriers to health care access among minority groups, limited information is available on addressing health disparity issues related to providers’ hampered cultural competencies. These uncultivated abilities sustain certain color-blind racial attitudes because when providers overlook the importance of race and culture, while providing care, they discount the importance of effectively interacting with people from diverse cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. Feasibly these limitations could weaken efforts for bridging health disparity gaps. Purpose: Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine how cultural competency efforts could impact color-blind racial attitudes that may contribute to health disparities among ethnic minorities. Methods: Following IRB approval matched per post questionnaires were distributed to undergraduate students before and after completing a cultural diversity in health care course. Questions included the Color Blind Racial Attitudes Scale as well as questions adapted from a study completed at the University of California Los Angeles. This particular study focused on specific questions selected for their relevance to attitudes that may impact cultural competence. Comparisons were made between white students and students of color. Results: The final sample consisted of 435 matched pre and post questionnaires. Participants’ ages ranged from 18-54 (M=21.56). 69.2% of the participants self-identified as white and 30.8% self-identified as students of color. Compared to students of color, means revealed that white students were significantly more unaware of color-blind racial attitudes related to racial privilege and institutionalized discrimination. There was no statistical difference related to the awareness of blatant racial issues among the two student groups. For questions selected for relevance, means also revealed significant differences on racial and social attitudes that could impact cultural competency between students of color and white students. Conclusion: Findings suggest that there are significant differences in beliefs between white students and students of color. Understanding these differences could positively impact cultural competency and potentially weaken color blind racial attitudes.

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Apr 24th, 2:30 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

Assessing How Cultural Competence Could Identify Color Blind Racial Attitudes Contributing to Health Disparities

Union Wisconsin Room

Background: Although health care advancements have knowingly changed the way health care providers deliver care and have considerably improved patient provider relationships, health disparities among ethnic minority groups continue. These continued disparities result in cyclical inequalities among lower socioeconomic minority families thus contributing to generations of health related issues. Even though current studies are examining methods for eliminating health disparities and barriers to health care access among minority groups, limited information is available on addressing health disparity issues related to providers’ hampered cultural competencies. These uncultivated abilities sustain certain color-blind racial attitudes because when providers overlook the importance of race and culture, while providing care, they discount the importance of effectively interacting with people from diverse cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. Feasibly these limitations could weaken efforts for bridging health disparity gaps. Purpose: Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine how cultural competency efforts could impact color-blind racial attitudes that may contribute to health disparities among ethnic minorities. Methods: Following IRB approval matched per post questionnaires were distributed to undergraduate students before and after completing a cultural diversity in health care course. Questions included the Color Blind Racial Attitudes Scale as well as questions adapted from a study completed at the University of California Los Angeles. This particular study focused on specific questions selected for their relevance to attitudes that may impact cultural competence. Comparisons were made between white students and students of color. Results: The final sample consisted of 435 matched pre and post questionnaires. Participants’ ages ranged from 18-54 (M=21.56). 69.2% of the participants self-identified as white and 30.8% self-identified as students of color. Compared to students of color, means revealed that white students were significantly more unaware of color-blind racial attitudes related to racial privilege and institutionalized discrimination. There was no statistical difference related to the awareness of blatant racial issues among the two student groups. For questions selected for relevance, means also revealed significant differences on racial and social attitudes that could impact cultural competency between students of color and white students. Conclusion: Findings suggest that there are significant differences in beliefs between white students and students of color. Understanding these differences could positively impact cultural competency and potentially weaken color blind racial attitudes.