Hispanic children diagnosed with brain tumors get high-quality treatment at hospitals that specialize in neurosurgery far less often than other children with the same condition, potentially compromising their immediate prognosis and long-term survival, according to research from Johns Hopkins published in October’s Pediatrics.

More than a decade after the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report Crossing the Quality Chasm, the Hopkins investigators say their findings detect persistent gaps in access to specialized care among certain patients, raising questions about how far across the chasm we have actually come.

Details here.

Comments

  1. #1 Katharine
    October 19, 2009

    I think the issue is less ‘Hispanic’ and more ‘poor’.

  2. #2 Katharine
    October 19, 2009

    And before you say anything, no, I am not trying to say racism isn’t a problem, because it IS.

    I’m saying that Hispanic people are disproportionately poorer than we pale-faced Anglo-Germanic sorts, and that poor people get a lot of shit.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    October 19, 2009

    I’m sure poverty is a big factor. It is all interconnected.

  4. #4 skeptifem
    October 20, 2009

    It is fair to say that racism is a cause of poverty though, isn’t it?

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    October 20, 2009

    Skeptifem: That’s the interconnected complex whole part.

  6. #6 Stephanie Z
    October 20, 2009

    There are likely also some cultural issues involved. Not all (i.e., very few) hospitals are set up to accommodate extended family visiting patients, waiting during surgery, staying nearby cheaply, etc. When community is considered essential to care of a child, this can make a big difference.

  7. #7 Ryan
    October 20, 2009

    In the paper they did actually control for home income. According to the paper, the analysis was performed adjusting for “age, gender, race, Charlson Index score, insurance, income, proportion of foreign-born residents in county, density of neurosurgeons in county, and calendar year.”

    Some of the interesting questions become: why DIDN’T controlling for insurance and income remove the effect? I think it lends some weight to Stephanie Z’s comment about the fuzzy factors that are hard to control for.

    The causal link between racism and poverty (and poor health) is always tough to tease out. They all cause each other, so controlling for them can bias your results.