Doctors Unknowingly Behaving Biased with Obese Patients
The University of Washington researchers have found in a recent study that doctors though may not be aware of the same; they are biased against obese patients. Therefore, patients of obesity feel more contented to visit overweight doctors to seek better treatment.
Published in the journal Plos One, the study has shown that this kind of biased behavior of doctors somehow affects patients. Since, doctors likely unknowingly give them a degraded treatment than they actually should get.
The study did not analyze the treatment practices being given, but the survey was enough to conclude the same, says the report. As many as 360,000 participants were included in the same, of which 2284 participants were doctors.
All of them were tested for weight bias with the help of a computer test, which is meant for measuring two types of bias. One is the bias where patients were aware of the same, while the other one was subconscious. The survey helped the researchers to determine that doctors need to be educated over weight bias so that overweight patients could get better treatments.
"It is important for physicians to be aware that this bias exists and to ensure that personal bias does not have a negative impact on the doctor-patient relationship", said lead author Janice Sabin.