Do elderly african americans trust their caucasian health care providers Why or why not - Research Paper Example

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Be it elderly or younger generation, their experiences with their Caucasian providers speak for the reasons for the lack of trust. Primarily, it is because of the persistent racism…
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Do elderly african americans trust their caucasian health care providers Why or why not
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African Americans do not trust their Caucasian health care providers. The African Americans distrust in their health care providers is not a fallacy or exaggeration. Be it elderly or younger generation, their experiences with their Caucasian providers speak for the reasons for the lack of trust. Primarily, it is because of the persistent racism that forms opinions and believes amongst both African Americans and their Caucasian doctors. According to Medical Care Research and Review, 80% of African Americans said that racism is either a minor or a major problem in the health care sector which should not be neglected. Yet, there are also factors like lack of interpersonal communication, technical incompetency, ethnic differences which contribute towards the untrustworthiness and health care disparities (Lillie-Blanto et al 2000).
Amongst the interpersonal skills, different linguistics builds communication barriers. Many of the providers are not familiar or adept with languages of their patients and their respective cultures. These attributes should be present as they, along with cultural competency, are vital for building a connection between them. According to the participants of the research, Understanding African Americans Views of the Trustworthiness of Physicians, their relationship with their doctors was not empathically interactive. Rather their doctors treated them with indifference and at times they “barely spoke to them” and without any examination suggested prescriptions. The callous and unsympathetic attitude of these providers led the patients to have a preference for ones who belonged to the same ethnic, racial and cultural background as theirs (A Jacobs et al 2006).
Like the lack of communication and the insensitive attitude of the providers, their focus on profits also changes the African Americans perceptions about them. Similarly, another disconcerting rationale given is due to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study in 1932, where black males were incorrectly diagnosed without legitimate treatment. Later on, it embedded the fear of experimentation in their minds of people and reinforced health disparities among African Americans and others (Centre for disease control and prevention).
These genuine concerns of the people should be considered and actions must be taken. Health issues should not be neglected or taken lightly. Given the strong cultural believes and values of the elderly African Americans and their right to be equally accepted in the society, small measures initiated will go a long way. To build one strong relationship, it’s imperative to consider the cultural needs of theirs which is to communicate respectfully and affectionately. Verbal and non-verbal communication is appreciated by these elderly people as they believe that it builds a trusting relation. Also gaining trust is a significant predictor of acceptance of these providers which the providers should work on. These providers should sympathise and keep their patients best interest at heart. Understanding their problems, diagnosing it correctly along with regular treatments and follow-up care will indeed eradicate the resentment. Treating with proficiency and without discrimination will secure a trusting and a loyal relation between these health care providers and their African American patients (Cross cultural health care resource guide 2010; A Jacobs et al 2006).
Lillie-Blanto, M., Brodie, M., Rowland, D., Altman, D., & McIntosh, M. (2000). Race, ethnicity, and the health care system: Medical Care Research and Review.
A Jacobs, E., Rolle, I., Ferrans, C. E., Whitaker, E. E., & Warnecke, R. B. (2006). Understanding African Americans views of the trustworthiness of physicians. Society of General Internal Medicine. Retrieved July 10, 2012, from
U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee. Centre for disease control and prevention. Retrieved July 10, 2012 from
Cross cultural health care resource guide. (2010). Retrieved July 10, 2012, from
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