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Wednesday, 18 October 2006 - 10:30 AM


Seema S. Sonnad, PhD1, Peter W. Groeneveld, MD, MS2, and Mirar Bristol, BS1. (1) University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, (2) Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA

Background: New medical technologies are used at different rates among whites and blacks. This variation may be partially explained by racial differences in patient innovativeness—the propensity of patients to adopt unfamiliar therapies. Little is known about how innovativeness varies among patients and how it may influence patients' attitudes toward new medical technologies. Methods: We surveyed 494 primary care patients (64 black male, 139 black female, 128 white male and 163 white female) at an urban academic medical center. Respondents answered questions designed to measure their risk attitudes, general innovativeness, innovativeness regarding medical technology, and response to a vignette describing either a hypothetical new prescription drug or implantable device. Results: There were significant racial differences in risk attitude as measured by willingness to experience new things between blacks and whites (p<.0001), but not between men and women (p=.08). All patients were more accepting of the new drug therapy than they were of the new device technology (p=.02). Whites were also more likely to accept both the new prescription drug (p=0.004) and the new implantable device than were blacks (p<.001). These differences were not seen between men and women. In multivariate analyses, lower medical technology innovativeness scores among blacks were significantly associated with less favorable reactions to both the prescription drug (p=0.001) and the medical device (p<0.001). Conclusions: Blacks and whites have differing attitudes toward medical innovation. These differences are associated with significant racial differences in response to particular healthcare technologies. These findings suggest potentially remediable causes for racial differences in the utilization of innovative medical technologies

See more of Concurrent Abstracts L: Disparities and Health Services Research
See more of The 28th Annual Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making (October 15-18, 2006)