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Recognition is growing regarding the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for quality healthcare service delivery. To better understand existing DEI-related challenges, we documented interactions (experiences) between patients and undergraduate research collaborators (RCs) that required a supervisor to address with a DEI-informed response.
Four undergraduate research collaborators (RCs).
Main Outcome Measures
Primary: Categories of experiences that warranted RC processing with a supervisor. Experiences were limited to explicit verbal actions initiated by patients with brain injury, cancer, dementia, and/or mental health diagnoses within the first year of RC employment. Following a grounded theory approach, open coding of data was applied to analyze experiential categories.
(a) Available DEI trainings and (b) RCs feedback about those trainings.
Results: Primary: We identified three experiential categories
: (1) slurs and stereotypes (e.g., racial, gendered), (2) illusory superiority, meaning the patient claimed superior knowledge of a concept relative to the RC in a non-realistic manner (e.g., mansplaining, “Islamasplaining” meaning explaining the Islamic faith to someone who practices it when the person explaining does not identify as Muslim), and (3) othering.
Secondary: (a) Available trainings were found to address (i) cultural sensitivity, (ii) implicit bias, and (iii) legal recourse regarding equal opportunity. (b) As acknowledged by facilitators, trainings did not guide RCs or supervisors regarding management of DEI-sensitive experiences while maintaining a high quality of care delivery to the patients initiating the experiences. RCs noted that some trainings fit into category 2, meaning that the trainings explained to the RCs what it might be like to experience the types of actions that they were reporting, without acknowledging the RCs existing expertise in handling such actions.
RCs may experience slurs/stereotypes, illusory superiority, and/or othering while assisting in patient care. Extant trainings did not guide management of such experiences.
Authors Taha, Bibi, Wali, Boakye-Dankwah, and Wilder have nothing to disclose. Author Worthen-Chaudhari stands to receive royalties from these start-up companies in the rehabilitation space: Rekovo, Games That Move You, Perfect Practice.
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