The Institute of Medicine identified access to healthcare and race-based discrimination as important barriers to quality healthcare that contributes to health disparities. This study (1) describes African-American veterans' perceptions of healthcare services and perceived discrimination in healthcare and (2) investigates the relationship between perceived discrimination and patient perceptions of care, satisfaction with healthcare, and health status. A convenience sample of 141 African-American veterans in Boston completed surveys from May to June 2006.

Respondents reported an average of 16 lifetime experiences of discrimination and over half recalled a situation when they experienced discrimination in healthcare. Modest ratings of perceived quality of care, and satisfaction with healthcare reflect areas for improvement. Perceived healthcare discrimination was negatively and signifi cantly associated with satisfaction (p<0.001), perceived quality of care (p<0.01), and physical functioning (p<0.05). Policies eliminating discrimination in healthcare are needed to improve patient satisfaction, quality of care, and health outcomes of African-American veterans.


Originally published in the Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice v.4 no.2 (Fall 2010), pp.50-68. http://www.unlv.edu/journals/chdr/journal.html


healthcare, discrimination, African Americans, veterans, outcomes

Subject Categories

African Americans - Medical care, Veterans - Medical care, Discrimination in medical care


Inequality and Stratification | Medicine and Health | Race and Ethnicity


Center for Health Disparities Research

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Rights Information

© 2010 Center for Health Disparities Research, School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


"Submissions are copyright protected with all rights remaining with the author per the policies of the Nevada System of Higher Education and the University of Nevada Las Vegas."

Rights Holder

Nathaniel Rickles, Silvia Domínguez, and Hortensia Amaro

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