Barriers to evidence-based treatment of serious burns: the impact of implicit bias on clinician perceptions of patient adherence

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The underlying assumption of modern evidence-based practice is that treatment decisions made by healthcare providers are based solely on the best available scientific data. However, the connection between evidence informed care guidelines and the provision of care remains ambiguous. In reality, a number of contextual and nonclinical factors can also play a role, among which is the implicit bias that affects the way in which we approach or treat others based on irrelevant, individual characteristics despite conscious efforts to treat everyone equally. Influenced by the social and demographic characteristics of patients, this bias and its associated perceptions have been shown to affect clinical decision making and access to care across multiple conditions and settings. This summary article offers an introduction to how the phenomenon of implicit bias can impact on treatment compliance in multiple care contexts, its potential presence and impact in burns care and describes some of the strategies which offer possible solutions to reducing the disconnect between the conscious attempts to deliver equitable care and the discrepancies in care delivery that remain.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Early online date10 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jul 2020