Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Modifying anti-obesity bias among Pediatric residents with a formal Obesity Curriculum

Marielisa Rincon-Subtirelu
Children's Mercy - Wichita Specialty Clinic

Implicit bias in clinical care occurs when a physician identifies a patient as a member of a group and then assigns stereotypical characteristics (positive or negative) of the group without awareness of doing so. This bias can affect the care of certain groups. The purpose of this study was twofold: first, to determine the presence of anti-obesity bias in the pediatric residents at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga College of Medicine, and, second, to evaluate the efficacy of an educational intervention to modify any initial bias. This study was developed as a pilot project in an explanatory sequential mixed method approach, where quantitative results are explained with the help of qualitative data. Participants first undertook an explicit bias questionnaire and the implicit association test (IAT), followed by participation in an obesity curriculum. Six weeks later they took a second IAT. Over 57.9 % of participants demonstrated strong anti-obesity bias. There was significant improvement from pre to post IAT scores with average improvement of 0.61 points (95% CI 0.03, 1.19, p = 0.041).  Pre and Post IAT scores were highly correlated (r = 0.65, p = 0.003); however, no correlation was found between pre or post IAT scores and total questionnaire score (pre r = 0.02, p = 0.92; post r = -0.17, p = 0.50).  The study demonstrated the presence of bias among pediatric residents and the positive effect that an educational intervention has on this bias.