Study: Racism in Health Settings Linked to ‘High Psychological Distress’

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Researchers at the University of Melbourne did a survey that examined racism experienced by the Aboriginal Australians in health care settings and also in other areas, including the workplace, education and sports, and the impact it had on their mental health.

The survey included 755 participants in which 97 percent had experienced at least one racist incident in any setting in the previous 12 months. And one-third of them reported experiencing racism in hospitals and health care.

“The most frequent experience of racism in this setting included being a target of racist names, jokes or teasing, or hearing comments that relied on stereotypes of Aboriginal Australians. Ten percent of respondents indicated that they had been told that they ‘didn’t belong in Australia,’ that they should ‘go home’ or ‘get out.’ People who experienced racism in health settings were more likely to experience very high psychological distress, compared with respondents who reported no experiences of racism,” study lead associate professor Margaret Kelaher said.

Due to the racism existing in health settings, the patients may feel discouraged from seeking access to health services and other resources that protect as well as enhance health.

Read more: Science World Report

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