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Instilling new habits: addressing implicit bias in healthcare professionals

Byrne, Aidan and Tanesini, Alessandra ORCID: 2015. Instilling new habits: addressing implicit bias in healthcare professionals. Advances in Health Sciences Education 20 (5) , pp. 1255-1262. 10.1007/s10459-015-9600-6

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There appears to be a fundamental inconsistency between research which shows that some minority groups consistently receive lower quality healthcare and the literature indicating that healthcare workers appear to hold equality as a core personal value. Recent evidence using Implicit Association Tests suggests that these disparities in outcome may in part be due to social biases that are primarily unconscious. In some individuals the activation of these biases may be also facilitated by the high levels of cognitive load associated with clinical practice. However, a range of measures, such as counter-stereotypical stimuli and targeted experience with minority groups, have been identified as possible solutions in other fields and may be adapted for use within healthcare settings. We suggest that social bias should not be seen exclusively as a problem of conscious attitudes which need to be addressed through increased awareness. Instead the delivery of bias free healthcare should become a habit, developed through a continuous process of practice, feedback and reflection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Additional Information: First online: 15 March 2015
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1382-4996
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 20:33

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