The perception of being treated with respect by clinicians may be a driver of disparities in individuals in racial and ethnic minoritie groups with eye diseases. Understanding these drivers may help identify potential interventions to reduce eye health disparities to prevent vision loss and blindness.
To evaluate the association between racial and ethnic minority status and the perception of being treated with respect by clinicians.
This cross-sectional analysis of a nationally representative cohort study using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) included participants in the 2017 survey with complete data on outcomes, associated factors, and covariates. Data analysis took place from January 2021 to February 2021. Using a population-based survey conducted in the US in 2017 by the US census bureau on behalf of the National Center for Health Statistics, NHIS study participants (age ≥18 years) who self-reported having an eye disease (macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy [DR], glaucoma, cataracts) were included, and patients who self-reported as Black, Asian, other/multiple races, or Hispanic ethnicity were considered to be in racial and ethnic minority groups.
Multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association of minority status with self-reported “always” being treated with respect by clinicians and self-reported “always” being asked about opinions/beliefs about medical care.
Participants in racial and ethnic minority groups had 23% lower odds of reporting being treated with respect compared with non-Hispanic White patients (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.77; 95% CI, 0.61-0.97; P = .03). A minority of participants had 66% higher odds of reporting being asked about their beliefs (AOR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.39-1.98; P < .001). For all patients, being asked about opinions/beliefs by their clinician was associated with a 5.8 times higher odds of reporting being treated with respect (AOR, 5.80; 95% CI, 4.35-7.74; P < .001).
In this nationally representative US population of patients with eye diseases, being a patient in a racial or ethnic minority group was associated with feeling less respected by health care professionals compared with non-Hispanic White patients. Asking about opinions and beliefs, regardless of race or ethnicity, is associated with patients feeling that they are treated with respect.