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Research Studies is a monthly compilation of research articles funded by AHRQ or authored by AHRQ researchers and recently published in journals or newsletters.
Results1 to 25 of 79 Research Studies Displayed
Wurcel AG, Essien UR, Ortiz C
Variation by race in antibiotics prescribed for hospitalized patients with skin and soft tissue infections.
This cohort study examined antibiotics prescribed and variations by race among hospitalized patients with skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs). A subanalysis of multisite, cross-sectional data collected through a national survey of acute care hospital groups within Vizient, Inc. considering adult inpatients treated for SSTIs was used. Of the 1242 adult inpatients included from 91 US hospitals, 45% were female, 18% were Black, and 69% were White with a mean age of 58 years. Penicillin allergy with hives was found in 23%, 19% with rash, and 18% with unknown effects, with allergy found more frequent in Black patients (23%) versus White (18%). Adjusting for multiple factors, White inpatients were at an increased risk of cefazolin use and decreased risk of clindamycin use compared with Black inpatients. Cefazolin use with less likely to be prescribed to Black inpatients than White inpatients and they were likely to be prescribed clindamycin. Cefazolin is considered a first-line SSTI treatment with clindamycin not recommended given frequent dosing and high potential for adverse effects including Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). Although penicillin allergy is described as more prevalent among White patients, the authors observed an increased prevalence among Black inpatients compared with White inpatients treated for SSTI.
Citation: Wurcel AG, Essien UR, Ortiz C . Variation by race in antibiotics prescribed for hospitalized patients with skin and soft tissue infections. JAMA Netw Open 2021 Dec;4(12):e2140798. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.40798..
Keywords: Antibiotics, Skin Conditions, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Practice Patterns, Medication
Chovatiya R, Begolka WS, Thibau IJ
Financial burden and impact of atopic dermatitis out-of-pocket healthcare expenses among Black individuals in the United States.
The purpose of this study was to explain the categories and impact of out-of-pocket (OOP) healthcare expenses associated with atopic dermatitis (AD) management among black individuals. The researchers administered a voluntary online survey to 113, 502 members of the National Eczema Association. 77.3% of respondents met the participation criteria of being U.S. residents, 18 years of age and older, and self-reporting that they had AD or were the primary caregivers of individuals with AD. The study found that Blacks (74.2%) vs. non-Blacks (63.3%) reported more OOP costs for prescription medications covered (65.1%) and not covered (46.5%), by insurance, emergency room visits (22.1% vs. 11.8%), and outpatient laboratory testing (33.3% vs. 21.8%,). There was a relationship between Black race and increased household financial impact from OOP expenses, and predictors of financial impact included minimally controlled AD, systemic therapy, greater than $200 monthly OOP expenses, and Medicaid. Blacks with Medicaid had greater odds of harmful financial impact than those of black race or with Medicaid alone. The researchers concluded that there is a relationship between Black race increased OOP costs for AD, with significant financial impact to the household.
Citation: Chovatiya R, Begolka WS, Thibau IJ . Financial burden and impact of atopic dermatitis out-of-pocket healthcare expenses among Black individuals in the United States. Arch Dermatol Res 2022 Oct;314(8):739-47. doi: 10.1007/s00403-021-02282-3..
Keywords: Skin Conditions, Healthcare Costs, Racial / Ethnic Minorities
Hegland TA, Owens PL, Selden TM
AHRQ Author: Hegland TA, Owens PL, Selden TM
New evidence on geographic disparities in United States hospital capacity.
The purpose of this study was to describe hospital capacity across the United States. The researchers combined American Hospital Association Survey, Hospital Compare, and American Community Survey data with the 2017 near-census of U.S. hospital inpatient discharges from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The study found that 0.11 more beds per 1000 population were supplied to zip codes where Non-Hispanic individuals live than zip codes where non-Hispanic White individuals live. However, the hospitals supplying this capacity have 0.36 fewer staff per bed and perform worse on many care quality measures. Zip codes in the most urban parts of America have the least hospital capacity (2.11 beds per 1000 persons) from across the rural-urban continuum. While more rural areas have higher capacity levels, urban areas have advantages in staff and capital per bed. The researchers did not find systematic differences in care quality between rural and urban areas. The study concluded that lower hospital care quality and resource intensity plays a key role in racial, ethnic, and income disparities in hospital care related outcomes.
Citation: Hegland TA, Owens PL, Selden TM . New evidence on geographic disparities in United States hospital capacity. Health Serv Res 2022 Oct;57(5):1006-19. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.14010..
Keywords: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), Disparities, Hospitals, Quality of Care, Racial / Ethnic Minorities
White VanGompel E, Lai JS, Davis DA
Psychometric validation of a patient-reported experience measure of obstetric racism© (The PREM-OB Scale™ suite).
This study sought to develop a valid patient-reported experience measure (PREM) of Obstetric Racism(©) in hospital-based intrapartum care designed for, by, and with Black women as patient, community, and content experts. The study was conducted using PROMIS© instrument development standards adapted with cultural rigor methodology. The study had 2 phases: Phase 1 included item pool generation, modified Delphi method, and cognitive interviews and Phase 2 evaluated the item pool using factor analysis and item response theory. Items were identified or written to cover 7 previously identified theoretical domains with 806 Black mothers and birthing people completing the pilot test. Good fit indices were indicated with factor analysis. Factor 1 was “Humanity” which had 31 items measuring experiences of safety and accountability, autonomy, communication, and empathy; Factor 2 “Racism” which had 12 items measuring experiences of neglect and mistreatment; and Factor 3 “Kinship” which had 7 items measuring hospital denial and disruption of relationships between Black mothers and their child or support system.
Citation: White VanGompel E, Lai JS, Davis DA . Psychometric validation of a patient-reported experience measure of obstetric racism© (The PREM-OB Scale™ suite). Birth 2022 Sep;49(3):514-25. doi: 10.1111/birt.12622..
Keywords: Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Women, Patient Experience
Jackson Levin N, Zhang A, Reyes-Gastelum D
Change in worry over time among Hispanic women with thyroid cancer.
This survey assessed change in worry over time in Hispanic women with thyroid cancer. A total of 273 Hispanic women with thyroid cancer diagnosed in 2014-2015 were recruited from SEER Los Angeles. Participants were surveyed at two points in time: time 1 from 2017 to 2018 and time 2 in 2019 on recurrence, quality of life, family at risk, death, and harm from treatments. Women were surveyed on their amount of worry: high worry (somewhat, quite a bit, very much) or low worry (not at all, a little). The survey showed 20.1-39.6% had high worry at both time 1 and time 2. An additional 7.6-13.4% had low worry at time 1 that evolved into high worry at time 2. Women with younger age (20-39) compared to older (40-79) had higher worry about thyroid cancer recurrence. A history of recurrent or persistent disease was associated with high worry about harms from treatment. Greater number of complications or side effect symptoms was associated with worry across all five items.
Citation: Jackson Levin N, Zhang A, Reyes-Gastelum D . Change in worry over time among Hispanic women with thyroid cancer. J Cancer Surviv 2022 Aug;16(4):844-52. doi: 10.1007/s11764-021-01078-8..
Keywords: Cancer, Women, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Quality of Life, Anxiety
Jindal M, Thornton RLJ, McRae A
Effects of a curriculum addressing racism on pediatric residents' racial biases and empathy.
The authors sought to evaluate the impact of participation in a curriculum addressing racism on pediatric residents' racial biases and empathy. They conducted a pre-post survey study in two urban, university-based, midsized pediatric residency programs. They found that, among participants with baseline pro-White bias, there was a statistically significant shift toward no preference, while among participants with a baseline pro-Black bias, there was a statistically significant shift toward no preference. Among all residents, there was a modest but statistically significant decrease in mean empathy.
Citation: Jindal M, Thornton RLJ, McRae A . Effects of a curriculum addressing racism on pediatric residents' racial biases and empathy. J Grad Med Educ 2022 Aug;14(4):407-13. doi: 10.4300/jgme-d-21-01048.1..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Education: Curriculum
Temkin-Greener H, Mao Y, McGarry B
Health care use and outcomes in assisted living communities: race, ethnicity, and dual eligibility.
The purpose of this study was to examine the type and quality of care received in residential long-term care setting by racial/ ethnic minorities or residents eligible for dual Medicare and Medicaid. With 2018 Medicare data, the researchers identified 255,564 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 55 who were living in 24,108 assisted living facilities across the United States and evaluated the relationship between race/ethnicity and dual status with emergency room use, inpatient hospital admission, 30-day readmission, and placement in a nursing home. The study found variations within and across assisted living facilities for racial/ethnic minority and dual residents, suggesting that outcome disparities are the most significant by dual eligibility status instead of only race/ ethnicity. The researchers concluded that these results can be used to inform and guide future research, as well as healthcare providers and policy makers.
Citation: Temkin-Greener H, Mao Y, McGarry B . Health care use and outcomes in assisted living communities: race, ethnicity, and dual eligibility. Med Care Res Rev 2022 Aug;79(4):500-10. doi: 10.1177/10775587211050189..
Keywords: Elderly, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Long-Term Care, Medicare
Wallace DD, Barrington C, Albrecht S
The role of stress responses on engagement in dietary and physical activity behaviors among Latino adults living with prediabetes.
This study used qualitative methods to understand how Latinos with prediabetes attempted to modify their diet and physical activity behaviors to slow type-2 diabetes progression and how stress affected their engagement in these behaviors. Findings showed that stress affected behavioral and cognitive progresses that adversely altered primarily dietary behaviors.
Citation: Wallace DD, Barrington C, Albrecht S . The role of stress responses on engagement in dietary and physical activity behaviors among Latino adults living with prediabetes. Ethn Health 2022 Aug;27(6):1395-409. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2021.1880549..
Keywords: Stress, Nutrition, Lifestyle Changes, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Diabetes, Chronic Conditions
Sharma AE, Khoong EC, Rivadeneira N
Warfarin monitoring in safety-net health systems: analysis by race/ethnicity and language preference.
This study’s objective was to determine if there were any race/ethnicity or language disparities in warfarin monitoring in safety-net systems using differences in international normalized ratio (INR) monitoring. This cross-section analysis used process and safety data shared from the Safety Promotion Action Research and Knowledge Network (SPARK-Net) initiative, a consortium of five California safety-net hospital systems. A total of 8129 patients were included: 3615 (44%) were female; 1470 (18%), Black/African American; 3354 (41%), Hispanic/Latinx; 1210 (15%), Asian; 1643 (20%), White; and 452 (6%), other. A total of 45% were non-English preferring. The authors did not observe statistically significant disparities in the rate of appropriate INR monitoring by race/ethnicity or language. The primary source of variation was by healthcare network.
Citation: Sharma AE, Khoong EC, Rivadeneira N . Warfarin monitoring in safety-net health systems: analysis by race/ethnicity and language preference. J Gen Intern Med 2022 Aug;37(11):2703-10. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-07283-6..
Keywords: Blood Thinners, Medication, Safety Net, Racial / Ethnic Minorities
Fowler FJ, Brenner PS, Cosenza C
How responding in Spanish affects CAHPS results.
The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of language and ethnicity with responses to CAHPS surveys and assess the effect of responding to CAHPS surveys in Spanish. The researchers surveyed patients who had received care at a Connecticut community health center within 6 or 12 months of being sent a CAHPS survey that asks about care experiences. Three hypotheses were tested: 1. Spanish speakers are more likely to choose extreme response options. 2. The meaning of the Spanish translation is different than the English version of the questions, with Spanish speakers providing different answers because of meaning differences. 3. Spanish speakers have different expectations regarding their health care than those who answer in English. Researchers evaluated any differences by ethnicity and language. The study found that those answering in Spanish gave significantly more positive reports than the other two groups on three of the five measures, and higher than the non-Hispanic respondents on a fourth. The study concluded that subjects answering in Spanish gave more positive reports of their medical experiences than Hispanics and non-Hispanics answering in English.
Citation: Fowler FJ, Brenner PS, Cosenza C . How responding in Spanish affects CAHPS results. BMC Health Serv Res 2022 Jul 8;22(1):884. doi: 10.1186/s12913-022-08262-1..
Keywords: Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), Cultural Competence, Patient Experience, Quality of Care, Racial / Ethnic Minorities
Alvarado F, Cervantes CE, Crews DC
Examining post-donation outcomes in Hispanic/Latinx living kidney donors in the United States: a systematic review.
The purpose of this systematic qualitative review was to evaluate outcomes in Hispanic donors and examine how Hispanic ethnicity was presented. In October 2021, the researchers reviewed PubMed, EMBASE, and Scopus for studies, with 18 meeting the inclusion criteria. Across the studies, Hispanic donors ranged between 6% and 21% of the donor populations. The study found that Hispanic donors were not at increased risk for end-stage kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, non-pregnancy-related hospitalizations, overall perioperative surgical complications or post-donation mortality compared to non-Hispanic White donors. Also compared to non-Hispanic White donors, most studies showed Hispanic donors were at higher risk for diabetes mellitus following nephrectomy; however, mixed findings were observed regarding the risk for post-donation chronic kidney disease and hypertension. The researchers concluded that future studies should explain variation in health outcomes by considering and assessing differences within the Hispanic donor population.
Citation: Alvarado F, Cervantes CE, Crews DC . Examining post-donation outcomes in Hispanic/Latinx living kidney donors in the United States: a systematic review. Am J Transplant 2022 Jul;22(7):1737-53. doi: 10.1111/ajt.17017..
Keywords: Transplantation, Kidney Disease and Health, Chronic Conditions, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Disparities
Blanco C, Kato EU, Aklin WM
AHRQ Author: Kato EU, Tong ST, Bierman A, Meyers D
Research to move policy - using evidence to advance health equity for substance use disorders.
This paper discusses ways that evidence-based research can advance health equity for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Racial and ethnic disparities in treatment access and outcomes have widened, despite substantial efforts to address the epidemic of overdose-related deaths in the US. Overdose rates are rising faster in Black, Latinx, and American Indian and Alaska Native populations than in White populations. Possible opportunities to address these disparities include addressing social determinants of health, implementing prevention measures, and supporting data science. The steps to ensure that research reduces disparities are to: 1) include members of underrepresented groups in the development of preventive interventions and treatments, 2) adequately recruit members of historically represented groups and ensure that studies are large enough to measure differences in outcomes according to race and ethnic group, 3) establish equitable partnerships with people who currently have or have had SUDS and their families and engage these groups in evidence production, 4) diversify the scientific workforce, and 4) have investigators measure the effects of policies and interventions on equity.
Citation: Blanco C, Kato EU, Aklin WM . Research to move policy - using evidence to advance health equity for substance use disorders. N Engl J Med 2022 Jun 16;386(24):2253-55. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2202740..
Keywords: Substance Abuse, Behavioral Health, Policy, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Disparities, Social Determinants of Health
Givan A, Downer B, Chou LN
Cognitive impairment and low physical function among older Mexican Americans: findings from a 20-year follow-up(☆).
This longitudinal study’s aim was to examine the association between cognitive impairment and low physical function over a 20-year follow-up period among Mexican Americans aged 65 and older. The final sample included 1545 community-dwelling Mexican Americans from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly, who scored moderate-high on Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) and were non-disabled at baseline (1993/94). The Mini Mental State Examination scale defines cognitive impairment as less than 21 points. General Estimating Equation was used to estimate the odds of having low physical function (defined with the SPPB at <7 points) over time as a function of cognitive impairment, adjusting for socio-demographics, self-reported medical conditions, body mass index, and depressive symptoms. Participants with cognitive impairment had increased odds of lower physical function over time compared to those without cognitive impairment.
Citation: Givan A, Downer B, Chou LN . Cognitive impairment and low physical function among older Mexican Americans: findings from a 20-year follow-up(☆). Ann Epidemiol 2022 Jun;70:9-15. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2022.03.006..
Keywords: Elderly, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Neurological Disorders
Wall SP, Castillo P, Shuchat Shaw F
Including medical footage and emotional content in organ donation educational videos for Latinx viewers.
The purpose of this 2 x 3 randomized controlled trial was to evaluate whether different types of videos shown in Latinx-owned barbershops and beauty salons affected deceased organ donor registration. Videos included medical footage of organ preservation and transplantation, as well as sad, uplifting, or unresolved stories. Impact was measured as it related to the impact of medical footage and storylines on three variables: registry enrollment, donation willingness and stage of change, and emotions. The study found that 14.8% of participants registered for deceased organ donation. Medical footage, sad, and unresolved stories did not differentially affect registration or willingness to donate organs. Compared to the uplifting story, the sad and unresolved stories increased sadness and decreased positive affect. The educational videos which included or excluded medical footage of organ preservation and transplantation and varying emotional levels of stories did not differentially affect registration. The researchers concluded that future work is necessary to analyze qualitative data that was collected with a subset of participants in order to report the qualitative reasons for participants' registration decisions.
Citation: Wall SP, Castillo P, Shuchat Shaw F . Including medical footage and emotional content in organ donation educational videos for Latinx viewers. Health Educ Behav 2022 Jun;49(3):424-36. doi: 10.1177/10901981211022240..
Keywords: Transplantation, Education: Patient and Caregiver, Racial / Ethnic Minorities
Roberson ML, Nichols HB, Olshan AF
Trends in surgical treatment of early-stage breast cancer reveal decreasing mastectomy use between 2003 and 2016 by age, race, and rurality.
The authors sought to examine trends in the surgical treatment of breast cancer by age, rurality, and among Black women in a populous, racially diverse, state in the Southeastern United States of America. Using data from the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry, they found declining mastectomy rates in the early 2000s in a Southern US state with a racially and geographically diverse population. These decreasing trends were consistent among key subgroups affected by cancer inequities, including Black and White rural women.
Citation: Roberson ML, Nichols HB, Olshan AF . Trends in surgical treatment of early-stage breast cancer reveal decreasing mastectomy use between 2003 and 2016 by age, race, and rurality. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2022 Jun;193(2):445-54. doi: 10.1007/s10549-022-06564-w..
Keywords: Cancer: Breast Cancer, Cancer, Women, Surgery, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Rural Health
Temkin-Greener H, Guo W, Hua Y
End-of-life care in assisted living communities: race and ethnicity, dual enrollment status, and state regulations.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationships between death at home and home hospice care with race, ethnicity, community characteristics, strictness of state-level regulations for assisted living facilities, dual Medicare-Medicaid enrollment, and other individual characteristics. The researchers found that almost 60% of the 100,783 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries residing in 16,560 assisted living communities who died in 2018-2019, died at home. Of those individuals, 84% were with home hospice care. Dual Medicare-Medicaid enrollment was a more important predictor of death at home than race or ethnicity; yet race was a stronger predictor than dual enrollment for hospice care at death. In states with lower regulatory strictness for assisted living communities, residents were less likely to die at home. The study concludes that these results imply an important role for state regulation of assisted living facilities and can help guide efforts to ensure equitable access to the individual’s preference for end-of-life-care.
Citation: Temkin-Greener H, Guo W, Hua Y . End-of-life care in assisted living communities: race and ethnicity, dual enrollment status, and state regulations. Health Aff 2022 May;41(5):654-62. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2021.01677..
Keywords: Elderly, Palliative Care, Long-Term Care, Racial / Ethnic Minorities
Ferucci ED, Arnold RI, Holck P
Factors associated with telemedicine use for chronic disease specialty care in the Alaska Tribal Health System, 2015-2019.
The purpose of this study was to explore and describe factors associated with telemedicine use in the setting of usual care in the Alaskan Tribal Health System (ATHS) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers collected electronic health records (EHR) data from 2015 through 2019 for 3,075 patients with chronic diseases requiring specialty care from 4 regions in the ATHS to identify ever users (799) and never users (2,276) of telemedicine. The study found that the factors of male gender, age, geographic region, rate of outpatient visits per year, and having had at least one cardiology clinic visit were all associated with telemedicine use.
Citation: Ferucci ED, Arnold RI, Holck P . Factors associated with telemedicine use for chronic disease specialty care in the Alaska Tribal Health System, 2015-2019. Telemed J E Health 2022 May;28(5):682-89. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2021.0131..
Keywords: Telehealth, Chronic Conditions, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Health Information Technology (HIT)
Kurasz AM, Smith GE, Curiel RE
Patient values in healthcare decision making among diverse older adults.
This study investigated the types of values that culturally diverse older adults incorporate in medical decision making. Focus groups were held with 49 individuals, 49% with mild cognitive impairment, and 51% Hispanic. Participants described barriers and facilitators that interfere with or promote value solicitation and incorporation. A wide range of values relating to individual factors, familial/cultural beliefs and expectations, balancing risks and benefits, receiving decisional support, and considering values other than their own were expressed. Participants also emphasized that values are individual-specific, influenced by aging, and change throughout life.
Citation: Kurasz AM, Smith GE, Curiel RE . Patient values in healthcare decision making among diverse older adults. Patient Educ Couns 2022 May;105(5):1115-22. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2021.08.031..
Keywords: Elderly, Decision Making, Racial / Ethnic Minorities
Brennan MB, Powell WR, Kaiksow F
Association of race, ethnicity, and rurality with major leg amputation or death among Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with diabetic foot ulcers.
The authors report that diabetic foot ulcer patients self-identifying as Black and also those living in disadvantaged and rural neighborhoods are at an increased risk of above-ankle amputations. The purpose of the study was to evaluate Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with diabetic foot ulcers to assess whether intersecting identities of Black race, ethnicity, and living in a disadvantaged neighborhood or rural residence were associated with a higher risk of major leg amputation or death. The retrospective study looked at 2013-2014 data from the US National Medicare Claims Data Database of patients hospitalized with a diabetic foot ulcer. The study focused on major leg amputation or death during hospitalization or within 30 days of discharge from the hospital. The study cohort included 124,487 patients with a mean age of 71.5 years. Of those, 71,286 were men (57.3%), 21,649 (17.4%) identified as Black, and 13,100 (10.5%) were rural. Major leg amputations or death were experienced by 17.6% of the cohort, 18.3% of rural patients, and 21.9% patients who identified as Black. The proportion of those experiencing major leg amputations or death among the 1239 rural patients identifying as Black was 28%, which exceeded by more than 2-fold the expected excess for rural patients plus those identifying as Black, reflecting a significant interaction between race and rural residence. The study concluded that rural patients identifying as Black had a more than 10% increased risk of major leg amputation or death when compared with the full cohort, and that when investigating disparities in major leg amputations and death in patients with diabetic foot ulcers, a perspective of intersectionality should be considered.
Citation: Brennan MB, Powell WR, Kaiksow F . Association of race, ethnicity, and rurality with major leg amputation or death among Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with diabetic foot ulcers. JAMA Netw Open 2022 Apr;5(4):e228399. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.8399..
Keywords: Diabetes, Chronic Conditions, Racial / Ethnic Minorities
Jacobs PD, Abdus S
AHRQ Author: Jacobs PD, Abdus S
Changes in preventive service use by race and ethnicity after Medicare eligibility in the United States.
Researchers examined whether widespread eligibility for Medicare at age 65 narrows disparate preventive service use by race and ethnicity. Using MEPS data and examining six preventive services, they found that, for non-Hispanic Black adults, preventive service use increased after age 65. Further, for all four preventive health measures that were lower for Hispanic adults compared with non-Hispanic White adults prior to age 65, service use was indistinguishable between these groups after reaching the Medicare eligibility age. They concluded that Medicare eligibility appeared to reduce most racial and ethnic disparities in preventive service use.
Citation: Jacobs PD, Abdus S . Changes in preventive service use by race and ethnicity after Medicare eligibility in the United States. Prev Med 2022 Apr;157:106996. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2022.106996..
Keywords: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Medicare, Prevention, Access to Care, Disparities, Health Insurance
Valbuena VSM, Barbaro RP, Claar D
Racial bias in pulse oximetry measurement among patients about to undergo extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in 2019-2020: a retrospective cohort study.
This study examined whether pulse oximeters detect arterial hypoxemia less effectively in Black, Hispanic, and/or Asian patients than in White patients in respiratory failure who are about to undergo extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Data on adult patients with respiratory failure readings 6 hours before ECMO from 324 centers from January 2019 to July 2020 who were in the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization registry was used. The author’s primary analysis was of rates of occult hypoxemia-low arterial oxygen saturation (Sao(2) ≤ 88%) on arterial blood gas measurement despite a pulse oximetry reading in the range of 92% to 96%. The rate of pre-ECMO occult hypoxemia was 10.2% for 186 White patients with peripheral oxygen saturation; 21.5% for 51 Black patients; 8.6% for 70 Hispanic patients; and 9.2% for 75 Asian patients. The risk of occult hypoxemia was comparable for Hispanic and Asian patients to White patients, but the prevalence of occult hypoxemia was higher in Black patients than for White patients about to undergo ECMO for respiratory failure.
Citation: Valbuena VSM, Barbaro RP, Claar D . Racial bias in pulse oximetry measurement among patients about to undergo extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in 2019-2020: a retrospective cohort study. Chest 2022 Apr;161(4):971-78. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2021.09.025..
Keywords: Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Medical Devices, Respiratory Conditions
Kostick-Quenet KM, Cohen IG, Gerke S
Mitigating racial bias in machine learning.
This article discusses the challenges in applying existing guidelines for mitigating algorithmic bias in a machine learning (ML) and/or artificial intelligence (AI) tool for real-world clinical decisions making by physicians and patients. The authors then discuss the existing legal regulation of ML/AI racial bias and future directions. Their team developed a decision support framework for patients with severe heart failure that includes a prognostic ML algorithm to calculate personalized estimates for patients about their likely outcomes after receiving a left ventricular-assist device (LVAD). Their goal is to identify the potential for racial bias in the tool’s algorithm identified practical challenges regarding algorithmic bias that other developers may face. The algorithms’ training data base was examined to review data quality. The authors also examined other comorbidities and their role in predicting LVAD outcomes. Existing and proposed initiatives to address algorithmic bias through regulation is also discussed in detail. The authors, who are mostly bioethics experts recommend that developers seeking to mitigate bias in ML use their algorithms as leverage to call upon stakeholders who are responsible for generating relevant datasets to make a concerted effort to document race and associated variables to enable systematic inquiries into sources of potential racial bias.
Citation: Kostick-Quenet KM, Cohen IG, Gerke S . Mitigating racial bias in machine learning. J Law Med Ethics 2022;50(1):92-100. doi: 10.1017/jme.2022.13..
Keywords: Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Health Information Technology (HIT)
Jindal M, Mistry KB, McRae A
AHRQ Author: Mistry KB,
"It makes me a better person and doctor": a qualitative study of residents' perceptions of a curriculum addressing racism.
The purpose of this study was to explore how pediatric residents perceive the impact of a curriculum addressing racism on their knowledge, motivation, skills and behaviors and investigate the contextual factors that promote or impede the curriculum's effectiveness. Semi structured interviews were conducted at two academic medical centers among pediatric residents. Findings showed that medical education addressing racism can facilitate the perceived acquisition of foundational knowledge regarding race and racism, motivation and skill-building to combat racism, and action planning aimed at improving patient care.
Citation: Jindal M, Mistry KB, McRae A . "It makes me a better person and doctor": a qualitative study of residents' perceptions of a curriculum addressing racism. Acad Pediatr 2022 Mar;22(2):332-41. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2021.12.012..
Keywords: Education: Curriculum, Education: Continuing Medical Education, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Provider: Physician
Riviello ED, Dechen T, O'Donoghue AL
Assessment of a crisis standards of care scoring system for resource prioritization and estimated excess mortality by race, ethnicity, and socially vulnerable area during a regional surge in COVID-19.
Researchers analyzed the association of a crisis standards of care (CSOC) scoring system with resource prioritization and estimated excess mortality by race, ethnicity, and residence in a socially vulnerable area during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from 6 hospitals in greater Boston, Massachusetts, they found that a CSOC priority score resulted in lower prioritization of Black patients to receive scarce resources. Also, a model using a random lottery resulted in more estimated excess deaths overall without improving equity by race.
Citation: Riviello ED, Dechen T, O'Donoghue AL . Assessment of a crisis standards of care scoring system for resource prioritization and estimated excess mortality by race, ethnicity, and socially vulnerable area during a regional surge in COVID-19. JAMA Netw Open 2022 Mar;5(3):e221744. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.1744..
Keywords: COVID-19, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Mortality, Public Health, Vulnerable Populations
Kleinman LC, Howell EA
Equity and the hazard of veiled injustice: a methodological reflection on risk adjustment.
The researchers report that in the context of quality improvement research, risk adjustment (RA) methods can obscure disparities in health care. In this study the researchers address the impact of considering equity when conducting risk adjustments in pediatric health, and describe the danger of veiled justice, a type of overadjustment that takes place when risk adjustments obscure real disparities because more than one covariate, such as race and socioeconomic status, are on related causal paths. Underadjustment can occur when these same structural characteristics are not addressed when calculating models of payment. The purpose of this study was to describe the literature and present a conceptual framework that identifies these two problems for validity related to the interactions between risk adjustment and health equity in pediatric health care. The researchers conclude that the science of quality improvement must address issues of health equity as an essential construct, with the development of a specific conceptual model. Statistical analysis should be interpreted using the conceptual model, and the dynamics of child development and life course should also be addressed, as well as additional contextual and process factors such as the role of caregivers and public insurance, the epidemiology of the disease, family financial status, and others. The goal of RA is to make valid conclusions such that observed differences can be attributed to the relevant causes. When higher risk is attributed to social determinants and not disease differences, RA can obscure disparities (veiled injustice) and differences at the population level and experienced by individuals are falsely hidden. Not addressing these same structural characteristics when calculating models of payment can lead to patterns of underadjustment. The authors advise that these 2 sides of a similar coin reveal the critical importance of both the underlying model and the capacity to reliably evaluate disparities and quality.
AHRQ-funded; HS020518; 233201550088A.
Citation: Kleinman LC, Howell EA . Equity and the hazard of veiled injustice: a methodological reflection on risk adjustment. Pediatrics 2022 Mar;149(Suppl 3). doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-045948G.
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Disparities, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Risk