Thursday, February 17, 2022

New Studies say Blacks are Noncompliant

The NY Times reports:
Medical records contain a plethora of information, from a patient’s diagnoses and treatments to marital status to drinking and exercise habits.

They also note whether a patient has followed medical advice. A health provider may add a line stating that the patient is “noncompliant” or “non-adherent,” signaling that the patient has been uncooperative and may exhibit problematic behaviors.

Two large new studies found that such terms, while not commonly used, are much more likely to appear in the medical records of Black patients than in those of other races. ...

“It’s not so much whether you should never use these words, but why are we applying these words with so much more frequency to Black patients?” said Michael Sun, the lead author of the study and a third-year medical school student at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. “Do we really believe Black patients are truly not compliant, so many more times than white patients?” ...

Looking at some 8,700 notes about patients with diabetes, 6,100 notes about patients with substance use disorder and 5,100 notes about those with chronic pain, the researchers found that patients with diabetes — most of whom had type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with excess weight and called a “lifestyle” disease — were the most likely to be described in negative ways. Nearly 7 percent of patients with diabetes were said to be noncompliant with a treatment regimen, or to have “uncontrolled” disease, or to have “failed.”

A note might say that a patient “refused diabetic diet,” for example, or was “noncompliant with insulin regimen.” The more severe the disease, the more likely the patient was to have notes with negative descriptors.

So Blacks are fat and lazy and refuse to follow medical advice. Or they just appear that way because of systemic racism. Stay tuned for further research.

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