The Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) has committed $30,000 to fund a study titled “Racial Bias in Orthotics and Prosthetics.”
The study will assess implicit and explicit racial biases among clinicians, educators, and students in O&P. Racial biases among healthcare providers, which are known to contribute to disparities and poor outcomes for black, indigenous and people of color, are well-documented in many areas of healthcare but have not yet been explored in O&P.
“This research is an essential first step to reduce health disparities and improve racial equity in patient access and outcomes in O&P,” said Cody McDonald, PhD, MPH, CPO, the study’s principal investigator. “As clinicians, educators, and students, we must examine our own biases and work to minimize the impact on our patients. The first step toward more equitable care is understanding the current state of racial bias in the profession, and this is the focus of our study.”
The study is a recipient of a 2021 American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) and Center for Orthotic and Prosthetic Learning and Outcomes/Evidence-Based Practice (COPL) Pilot Grant.
Results of the study will be disseminated in early 2023.
Clinicians, educators, and students who are not able to participate in the study but are interested in learning more about implicit bias should visit the Project Implicit Harvard University website to take the Implicit Association Test.