Impact of Perceived Racism on Healthcare Access Among Older Minority Adults

Taeho Greg Rhee, Richard A Marottoli, Peter H Van Ness, Becca R Levy

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37 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Older minority individuals are less likely to receive adequate health care than their white counterparts. This study investigates whether perceived racism is associated with delayed/forgone care among minority older adults, and whether poor doctor communication mediates this relationship.

METHODS: Study cohort consisted of minority participants, aged ≥65 years, in the 2015 California Health Interview Survey (N=1,756). Authors obtained data in November 2017, and statistical analyses were performed from February to April 2018. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted with relevant covariates, including insurance coverage, years living in the U.S., and language. A mediation analysis was also performed.

RESULTS: Among minority older individuals, perceived racism was significantly associated with delayed/forgone care (AOR=3.92, 95% CI=1.38, 11.15, p=0.010). Poor doctor communication significantly and partially mediated the relationship (AOR=3.64, 95% CI=1.30, 10.21, p=0.014), accounting for 9.9% of the total effect.

CONCLUSIONS: Perceived racism may contribute to health disparities for older minority individuals in part through doctors communicating messages that discourage adequate utilization of health care. Future research should explore culturally sensitive communication skills that reduce this barrier to receiving adequate health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-585
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2018 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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