A $1.3 million National Institute of Minority Health Disparities grant has been awarded to Washington State University (WSU) researchers to investigate how a training program originally developed for law enforcement can help nurses recognize and combat their unconscious biases in healthcare. The project, led by Dr. Lois James, Assistant Dean of Research at the WSU College of Nursing, and Stephen James, an Assistant Professor in the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, aims to address disparities in patient treatment based on factors such as race, gender, weight, sexual orientation, and more.
My main goal is to reduce the impact bias has on people’s lives, especially in environments and professional groups where there’s some degree of hierarchy, such as between a healthcare provider and a patient. I’m not just studying bias for the sake of understanding it, but for the sake of improving it.Dr. Lois James, Assistant Dean of Research at the Washington State University College of Nursing
The research project will adapt the Counter Bias Training Simulation (CBTsim) program originally designed for law enforcement. This program uses video simulations featuring diverse actors, allowing trainees to make decisions during the simulation and reflect on their actions afterward. Studies have shown that increasing awareness of unconscious biases helps individuals control their interactions in the workplace.
If successful, the program could be extended to other healthcare professions to reduce health inequities.
To learn more, read the full story at WSU Insider.