Discrimination in health services: developing strategies to address a tractable social determinant of health inequalities


  • Dr Stephani Hatch

    King's College London

Project summary

Discrimination is one of the strongest predictors of poor patient satisfaction, quality of care and staff experience; yet few studies have explicitly examined discrimination as a driver of inequalities and barriers to health service use. 

While most people are naturally inclined to put others into social categories, for some this results in unconscious but demonstrable biases that are shown through discrimination. Experiences of discrimination are sources of stress, which can affect people’s physical and mental health. Discrimination increases mistrust, which can lead people to discontinue their use of health services and engage with the service in future. This ultimately impacts on treatment outcomes. 

This study will investigate unaddressed questions about the role of discrimination by healthcare providers, ie doctors and nurses, in generating and perpetuating inequalities.