Background: We sought to compare findings of a national survey of perceptions of racial/ethnic discrimination in healthcare to those of a community survey, with emphasis on the perceptions of Latinos.
Methods: Responses from a national survey were compared to a telephone survey of residents of Durham County, North Carolina.
Results: Black respondents in the Durham sample were more likely than those in the national sample to feel that a healthcare provider had treated them with disrespect because of health insurance status (28% vs 14%; P < 0.001). Approximately one third of Durham Latinos and 14% of Latinos in the national sample felt they had been treated with disrespect because of their English-language ability (P < 0.01). Compared to a national sample of white participants, white respondents in Durham were more likely to believe that black persons are worse off in terms of receiving routine medical care (40% vs 27%; P < 0.01) and having health insurance (58% vs 43%; P < 0.01). As compared to their national counterparts, there was a similar trend for how white respondents in Durham perceived how Latinos fared (P < 0.001 for all comparisons).
Conclusions: Overall the perception of bias in healthcare was greater among Durham residents, especially among newly immigrated Latinos, than among their national counterparts.