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Clinical Trial Summary

The first aim of this study is to test the efficacy of a real-time provider-based individuation intervention to improve the receipt of high-quality rheumatic disease care among Black/African American and lower socioeconomic status (SES) individuals. The second aim is to determine the effect of the individuation intervention on provider-patient communication, adherence, provider trust and care satisfaction.


Clinical Trial Description

The goal of this pilot is to test the efficacy of an individuation-based intervention among rheumatologists and their patients at two large, multisite academic-based hospital practices to improve racial and SES equity in receipt of high quality care. The primary aim is not to reduce provider bias, but rather to reduce the reliance on implicit bias in care decisions for Black and lower SES patients to lessen the impact of structural racism and inequality on care. The investigators plan to conduct a cluster-randomized controlled trial. The clusters are 20 rheumatologists at multisite BWH and MGH-affiliated clinics. Rheumatologists will be stratified by hospital and by gender and randomly assigned to one of two groups. Ten rheumatologists will be assigned to the intervention arm and ten to the control. Assessments will be conducted for 8-10 patients per rheumatologist (max 100 patients total in each arm, 200 total). Randomization will be stratified by hospital (MGH or BWH) and by provider gender (male or female). Inclusion and exclusion criteria for providers and patients are listed under Eligibility Criteria. Providers who consent will be stratified by gender and site and randomized to the intervention or control arm. All providers in both arms will be asked to complete demographic surveys and four Implicit Association Tests (IATs). Two of the tests assess biases related to race and two parallel tests assess biases related to socioeconomic status. After providers take the IATs and complete the baseline demographics form, both arms will be given the link to freely available brief implicit bias educational modules. Providers in the control arm will be instructed to watch 5 modules, with the last two modules as optional. Similarly, providers in the intervention arm will be instructed to watch 5 modules but will then meet with members of the study team to discuss their "individuation" countermeasure intervention. At least one month after providers take the IATs, the study team will begin the process of recording 8-10 provider-patient interactions within each providers' practice. This will occur both at MGH and BWH rheumatology clinic sites. Providers will also be immediately informed before a patient encounter that will be recorded and will have the opportunity to decline. To record, a digital voice recorder will be used (placed in the room by a research team member with both patient and provider aware, and collected immediately following the encounter), and all data will be transferred to the project-specific MGB secure drive at the end of each day and then deleted from the device. These files will be transcribed verbatim using an MGB-approved vendor and all identifiable information will be removed. After 4 months, which is the estimate for recruitment time, providers will be asked to repeat the IATs. Patients who consent to participate will be asked to have one clinical encounter with their provider recorded (preferably the next appointment) and then to complete a set of baseline surveys following that encounter including demographics, social determinants of health, everyday discrimination experiences, satisfaction with care, patient trust in the medical profession, patient perception of care centeredness and medication adherence. The investigators will also collect data from the patients' charts. These data include: demographics, social determinants of health, comorbidities/diagnoses, quality metrics related to their rheumatic disease, lab results, preventive care use (including immunizations), healthcare utilization (including ED visits, hospitalizations, outpatient visits and appointment no shows), medication use (including use of contraception as a quality metric), and medication refill data over the 6 months following the date of the recorded encounter. The investigators will review the note from the date of the encounter and determine whether the individuation statement was documented in the intervention group. For patients with lupus or RA seen at least once by participating providers in both the intervention and control arm, The study team will examine the charts of patients during the 6 months following provider enrollment, beginning 1 month after the date the provider takes the IATs. The study teams estimates that this will include approximately 1000 patients. The study team plan to collect demographics, social determinants of health, comorbidities/diagnoses, quality metrics related to their rheumatic disease, lab results, preventive care use (including immunizations), healthcare utilization (including ED visits, hospitalizations, outpatient visits and appointment no shows), medication use (including use of contraception as a quality metric), and medication refill data over the 6 months following the date of the recorded encounter. The investigators will also see if any of the individuation statements (smart phrases) were used for patients not specifically enrolled in the intervention. At the end of the study, there is a plan to return the results to both the providers and patients. For providers, the study team will provide them with their pre and post IAT scores in the context of national averages. The team will also provide a list of online resources about implicit bias. For patients, after the completion of the 6-month adherence assessment, the study team will provide them with a score report indicating what their scores on each of the respective surveys mean. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05116163
Study type Interventional
Source Brigham and Women's Hospital
Contact Candace H Feldman, MD, ScD
Phone 617-525-1035
Email [email protected]
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date January 1, 2022
Completion date January 1, 2023

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