Somali: The care of rheumatoid arthritis in Somali patients may be subject to implicit bias
Somali source Hiiraan from Ottawa reports:
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect people of all ethnicities. There are no published studies that attempt to identify disease-specific characteristics of Somali immigrants. In this paper, Paul Waytz, MD, Andrew Forsberg, BA, and Abdi Mohamed, MBA, attempt to better categorize various aspects of rheumatoid arthritis int the Somali population. A database of 40 Somali patients with rheumatoid arthritis was compiled. Several cultural differences and other potential barriers emerged, including the possibility of implicit bias. Minnesota is home to the largest Somali population in the world outside of Somalia or refugee camps, with a population now approaching 40,000 residents by conservative estimates. The majority live in the Twin Cities. The current Minnesota population also reflects a substantial number of second-generation Somalis. During this review, it quickly became apparent that socio-cultural factors played an important role in the evaluation and management process, a role that might well be associated with implicit bias. The study demonstrates that the population of Somalis with RA is 98% female, distinctly different from the standard reported percentages of nearly 3:1, female to male. Furthermore, implicit bias may be just as unacceptable and harm just as much if not more than explicit bias. One of the authors suggests that one might also wonder if underlying reasons like financial issues, image, self-esteem, or the social expression of masculinity associated with the stress and mental health status of immigrants contributes to the observed disparity. Physician education and self-reflection are essential to solving serious problems with healthcare delivery. (16/10/2018).
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