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May 22, 2019

Study: Black patients less likely to seek post-injury physical therapy than whites

There is sizable racial disparity in the U.S. when it comes to rehabilitative care

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Sure, physical therapy isn’t the most glamorous part of recovering from an injury, but it’s a crucial component in healing. A new study from Duke University School of Medicine found that, compared to whites, African-Americans are less likely to receive rehabilitation treatment.

Researchers examined data from three Boston-area trauma centers involving 1,117 white and 182 black patients injured between December 2015 and July 2018, according to a Reuters report:

When contacted between six and 12 months after they’d left the hospital, only 64.3 percent of the black patients said they had sought rehab services after discharge, compared to 79.8 percent of white patients. Similarly, only 40.0 percent of African-Americans went to doctors’ offices or clinics for injury-related visits, compared to 47.0 percent of whites.

RELATED READ: Perpetual gaps exist in health care for African-Americans

Prior studies have also shown that injured African American patients are more likely to be sent home when they leave the hospital, rather than being sent to rehab centers or skilled nursing facilities, the researchers note.

Learn more about this study from Reuters here

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