Date of Submission
Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Although many studies have examined patient barriers to care, few studies have examined mental health therapist biases toward prospective patients. The purpose of this study is to address this gap in the literature by examining therapist biases toward simulated-patients’ race, ability to pay for treatment, and diagnosis. A total of 725 therapists (176 male, 549 female) practicing in Chicago, Illinois were sent emails from simulated-patients requesting a therapy appointment. Therapists were stratified and randomized into different simulated-patient conditions, including race (i.e., White, African American, or Latino/a American), gender (i.e., male or female), ability to pay (i.e., able to pay full fee out of pocket for treatment or unable to pay full fee out of pocket for treatment and asked if the therapist took a sliding scale), and diagnosis (i.e., depression, schizophrenia, or borderline personality disorder (BPD)). Therapist email return rates were determined after a 2-week window, and the responsiveness of their messages was coded. The overall email return rate was 78.76% (n = 571). Results indicate that race and diagnosis are significant predictors of receiving an email response, such that non-White patients are less likely to receive a response than White patients, and patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or BPD are less likely to receive a response than those with depression. Further analyses conclude non-White patients, patients unable to pay full fee for treatment, and patients with schizophrenia or BPD are more likely to be declined for services and not receive a response than White patients, patients able to pay full fee for treatment, and patients with depression.
Hong, Kristyne, "Email Me Back: Examining Mental Health Provider Biases through Email Return Rates and Responsiveness" (2018). CMC Senior Theses. 1955.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.