Fierce Healthcare June 30, 2022
Dave Muoio

Patients’ biases toward providers’ gender or race may affect how well their body reacts to medical treatments—even when their conscious minds aim to set those preconceptions aside, a new study suggests.

Published this week, the blinded investigation looked to expand upon the well-studied placebo effect, where the body reacts to inert treatment based on the mind’s belief of potential benefit, and how the social context of healthcare delivery can impact patient outcomes.

Researchers found that 187 white patients had different physiological responses to a placebo relief cream given shortly after an allergy skin prick test based on whether their provider was a man or woman, or was Asian, Black or white.

Specifically, the patients of female providers...

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