17 Percent of Blacks Distrust Hospitals

NEW YORK, Sept. 11 (UPI) — African-Americans have less trust in hospitals than others, a lack of trust U.S. researchers say is linked to blacks donating blood at lower rates than whites.

Study leader Dr. Beth H. Shaz, chief medical officer of the New York Blood Center in New York, and colleagues created a survey on blood donation among African Americans. About 930 people from 15 African-American churches in metropolitan Atlanta completed 81-item self-administered survey.

The survey indicates 17 percent of African-Americans do not trust hospitals and the lack of trust was positively correlated with not donating blood. The lack of trust in hospitals was also linked to not wanting to participate in research and a lack of knowledge about the blood supply.

African-Americans who said they trusted hospitals had more knowledge of the blood supply — less fear of donation — and were more likely to respond to blood needs of the community, Shaz says.

“Blood centers and hospitals need to build trust with the African-American community,” Shaz says in a statement. “Increased trust will result in increased blood donor rates, increased participation in research, and increased medical knowledge.”

The findings are published in the journal Transfusion.

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