Background Previous research has found that young minority women tend to be more risk averse compared to their Caucasian counterparts. The reasons underlying these differences, however, are not understood.
Objectives The objective of this study was to examine whether factors influencing perceived treatment importance vary by race.
Methods Women between the ages of 20 and 45 completed a survey. The survey recorded sociodemographic data, trust in healthcare systems and beliefs in medications. It also included a hypothetical scenario in which subjects were asked to rate the importance of taking a medication for a patient with joint pain, migraines and fatigue that benefits 70% of people and is well tolerated except for the rare risk (1 per 100,000) of a neurologic disease that may cause weakness, trouble with vision and numbness. Associations between patient characteristics, medication beliefs, and trust with perceived importance of taking the medication were evaluated for each race. Variables found to be statistically significant were subsequently evaluated using multiple linear regression.
Results 299 women completed the survey. Baseline characteristics by ethnicity are described in Table 1.Hispanic women had more negative medication beliefs than did Non-Hispanic Whites, and both Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic subjects had lower levels of hope compared to Non-Hispanic White subjects (difference between means <0.05). Associations between subject characteristics and perceived importance of taking the medication are presented in Table 2. In a multilinear regression model (including education, difficulty paying for medications, medication beliefs, trust, hope and worry), hope was associated with perceived importance of taking the medication in all three ethnic groups. Additional findings differed by race, with medication beliefs in Non-Hispanic White subjects; difficulty paying for medications in Non-Hispanic Black subjects, and worry in Hispanic subjects being associated with perceived importance of taking the medication.
Conclusions Our findings confirm the important influence of emotion on decision making, and suggest that while hope is universally associated with perceived importance of taking a medication, other factors differed, highlighting differences in the decision making process across ethnic groups.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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