Racial disparities in the management of emergency department patients presenting with psychiatric disorders

Lead author Utsha Khatri and PISC Senior Scholars Kit Delgado, Gina South and Ari Friedman questioned whether there was an association between race and/or ethnicity and the receipt of chemical sedation among Emergency Department patients presenting for psychiatric disorders. Black race was associated with a greater probability (2.2%; 95% CI 0.8–3.7, P < .01) of receiving chemical sedation than non-Hispanic white race and/or ethnicity (3.0%). However, when accounting for the proportion of hospital population that was Black, individual patient race was no longer associated with a significant increase in receipt of chemical sedation. Authors conclude that interventions designed within healthcare to combat the forces of racism must focus on more than provider-level bias, as the factors that continue to contribute to racial disparities in management and outcomes are impacted by many additional structural factors.

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