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Exploring Subconscious Bias
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  • Kelvin Miu,
  • David Ranford,
  • Pavol Surda,
  • Claire Hopkins,
  • Yakubu Karagama
Kelvin Miu
Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals NHS Trust

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David Ranford
Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals NHS Trust
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Pavol Surda
Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals NHS Trust
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Claire Hopkins
Guy's Hospital
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Yakubu Karagama
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
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Background: Implicit biases involve subconscious associations that lead to a negative evaluation of a person based on irrelevant characteristics such as race or gender. This audit of management of patients who missed appointments investigates the presence of implicit bias in our unit. Methods: We retrospectively analysed discharge rates in 285 patients who missed an outpatient appointment between from 1/4/2020 at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. 285 patients were categorised into predefined ethnic categories: White British (WB) vs Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) vs Other White (OW) after reading the patient’s names. In the same fashion, we also assigned gender. Results: We did not find differences in discharge rates among self-reported ethnic and gender groups. Patients with WB sounding names were more likely to be discharged when compared to patients with BAME sounding names (35% vs 58%). Discharge rates between males and females did not differ. Conclusion: Our results suggest that implicit bias may play a role in decision-making whether to rebook a patient after missing an appointment.
Oct 2022Published in The Journal of Laryngology & Otology volume 136 issue 10 on pages 961-963. 10.1017/S0022215121004199