OSU students find inequalities in ophthalmology research

Oklahoma State University students at both Tulsa and Tahlequah campuses have found inequalities in ophthalmology research for Indigenous, Asian and LGBTQ patient populations, Fox 23 reported Dec. 25. 

The study took place over six months and was recently published in JAMA. It surveyed 75 ophthalmic health inequity research articles published between 2016 and 2021. 

The research team found that none of these studies looked into inequalities for LGBTQ populations, and only 27 percent that investigated race or ethnicity inequalities included American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander patients. The studies found notable inequities in care for Black and Hispanic patients that were associated with worse outcomes.

"Our research team recognized that deficient ophthalmologic care is costly to patients, making the identification of groups not receiving adequate care of vital importance," Christian Hemmerich, OSU medical student and lead author of the study, told the news outlet. "Overall, lower-income patients were more likely to have vision impairment, use eye care services less and have lower adherence to eye examinations."

Read the full study here.

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