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Developing better connections between ethnic minority patients and health care professionals could deliver more positive health care experiences for ethnic minority patients, according to a new study. The results have been published in PLOS ONE.

Close up of hands

Responding to reports of discrimination and treatment lacking in empathy, the researchers, led by the University of Westminster and including scientists from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry, analysed the social and cultural influences in the experience of ethnic minority psychological and/or cancer patients in 29 studies. This uncovered a multitude of human feelings at play during the care of ethnic minority patients which has been overlooked until now.

The results demonstrated that understanding and reacting to patients with warmth and positivity, just as a family member or friend would, could have a transformative impact on improving care.

The researchers found that patients essentially yearned to have their whole selves and circumstances in which they lived recognised and understood by their practitioners. Or as one participant in one of the studies examined said, professionals who ‘who will listen to us, who will allow us to talk.’

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website.