Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease: An Assessment of Obstetrician-Gynecologists' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice Patterns
Degree awarded: M.A. Psychology. American University Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability among women in the United States. African American and Hispanic women are at increased risk for CVD compared to White women. Obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) play an integral part in well-women care, and racial/ethnic minority women are more likely to utilize their ob-gyn as their primary care provider. This study assessed ob-gyns' knowledge, attitudes, and practice patterns of racial/ethnic disparities in CVD among African American and Hispanic (minority women) women. This study also sought to determine physician and patient-related barriers to providing CVD care. The response rate was 33%. Physician practices with high minority populations predicted an increased likelihood that ob-gyns were knowledgeable about racial/ethnic disparities in CVD and a greater likelihood that ob-gyns perceive their patients at increased CVD risk. However, physicians appear to be less knowledgeable about Hispanic women's increased CVD risk. Practices with high minority patient populations predicted an increased likelihood that ob-gyns view patient nonadherence to medical recommendations and patients' inability to see a specialist as patient-related barriers to providing CVD care and a decreased likelihood that ob-gyns view lack of exposure to intermediate/high risk patients during residency as a physician-related barrier to providing CVD care.