A survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, N.J., says most Americans support collecting racial and ethnic data to reduce disparities in healthcare delivery.
Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said they favored legislation that would allow the collection of such data if its uses were limited to identifying inequities in treatment and ensuring everyone received the same quality of care.
Of minority groups surveyed, only 40% of African-Americans favored race- or ethnicity-based data collection, while 58% of Latinos and 57% of Asian-Americans supported it.
The survey of more than 1,000 adults with some form of healthcare coverage was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. Survey results are available online at rwjf.org.
In a statement today, the RWJF's John Lumpkin, M.D., explained the lower tolerance for data collection by African-Americans
"There is a historical context of distrust among African-Americans with regard to collecting racial and ethnic data," said Lumpkin, the foundation's senior vice president and director of its healthcare group.
"African-Americans are part of a group of Americans who are most severely affected by healthcare disparities," he said. "Working with African-American and other racial and ethnic minority communities is crucial as we develop programs to improve care. Collecting these data is an important part of measuring disparities and improving outcomes for all."