Presenters

Ruth NwefoFollow

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Evelina Sterling

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The distrust of the U.S. health care system is prevalent, especially within the African American (AA) community. This distrust is largely based on infamous cases such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and experiments conducted by James Marion Sims on slave women without anesthesia. While these experiments along with many others further advanced medicine, they severed trust between health care institutions and the African American community, bringing upon repercussions still felt today. Although many steps have been taken to rebuild trust in the health care system by establishing effective ethical guidelines, more needs to be done in terms of rebuilding the relationship. The purpose of this study is to attain a deeper understanding of the ethical mistrust in healthcare between the AA community and health care providers as well as how to bridge this gap. To further investigate this topic, KSU has partnered with WellStar Health Systems to collect qualitative data on the challenges and barriers for providing effective ethics consults specifically to low-income AA men where the intersections of race, gender and class are especially relevant. WellStar Health System has a robust ethics service providing consults upon request or referral, including informed consent, clinical trials/medical research, and advance directives. Unfortunately, these services are severely underutilized by the AA population. This research project includes conducting six focus groups including low-income AA men, their families/caretakers, and their health care providers. Focus groups will be tape-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using modified grounded theory methods. Expected results include details from this population pertaining to defining ethics, knowledge and attitudes toward key clinical ethical issues, and suggestions about how best to educate low-income AA men about making their wishes known about their healthcare choices. WellStar Health System expects to incorporate these data into their ethics program and educational initiatives for both patients and clinicians.

Project Type

Poster

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Make Your Wishes Known: Understanding the Challenges and Barriers for Providing Effective Ethics Consults to Low-Income African American Men

The distrust of the U.S. health care system is prevalent, especially within the African American (AA) community. This distrust is largely based on infamous cases such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and experiments conducted by James Marion Sims on slave women without anesthesia. While these experiments along with many others further advanced medicine, they severed trust between health care institutions and the African American community, bringing upon repercussions still felt today. Although many steps have been taken to rebuild trust in the health care system by establishing effective ethical guidelines, more needs to be done in terms of rebuilding the relationship. The purpose of this study is to attain a deeper understanding of the ethical mistrust in healthcare between the AA community and health care providers as well as how to bridge this gap. To further investigate this topic, KSU has partnered with WellStar Health Systems to collect qualitative data on the challenges and barriers for providing effective ethics consults specifically to low-income AA men where the intersections of race, gender and class are especially relevant. WellStar Health System has a robust ethics service providing consults upon request or referral, including informed consent, clinical trials/medical research, and advance directives. Unfortunately, these services are severely underutilized by the AA population. This research project includes conducting six focus groups including low-income AA men, their families/caretakers, and their health care providers. Focus groups will be tape-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using modified grounded theory methods. Expected results include details from this population pertaining to defining ethics, knowledge and attitudes toward key clinical ethical issues, and suggestions about how best to educate low-income AA men about making their wishes known about their healthcare choices. WellStar Health System expects to incorporate these data into their ethics program and educational initiatives for both patients and clinicians.