Health care effects of cultural beliefs about physicians and perceived discrimination

Background: Healthcare inequities may hamper physical and mental health. Aim: To examine perceived discrimination in healthcare services in relation to socio-structural and cultural antecedents as well as their effect on psychological processes and health. Material and Methods: Questionnaires on beliefs about physicians, perceived discrimination, emotions and affective states and avoidance consequences in health were answered by 337 child caregivers (85% women) attending preventive health care appointments at primary health care centers. Results: Negative beliefs about healthcare professionals are directly associated with avoidance behaviors in health and perceived discrimination. The latter perception has no direct effects on avoidance behaviors, but it has an indirect effect through negative emotions associated with discrimination. Conclusions: There is an association between cultural, psychological and structural factors in health care. These results contribute to understand the phenomenon of discrimination and its negative consequences.

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