Original ArticleThe Effect of Race/Ethnicity, Sex, and Social Circumstances on Coronary Revascularization Preferences A Vignette ComparisonBarnhart, Janice M. MD, MS; Wassertheil-Smoller, Sylvia PhD Author Information From the Department of Epidemiology & Population Health, Division of Epidemiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York. The American Heart Association (AHA) and its Heritage Affiliate (New York City) funded this research. Dr. Barnhart was recipient of a Minority Scientist Career Development Award (#96023140) from the AHA and a Grant-in-Aid Award from the Heritage Affiliate (#9951066T). Correspondence: Janice M. Barnhart, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Belfer 1306A, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461. E-mail: [email protected]. Cardiology in Review: September 2006 - Volume 14 - Issue 5 - p 215-222 doi: 10.1097/01.crd.0000214180.24372.d5 Buy Metrics Abstract Disparities in cardiac care cannot be explained by clinical factors alone. We previously found that physicians' perceived nonclinical factors such as patient preferences influenced decisions for coronary revascularization. For this study, we mailed a questionnaire to a random sample of family medicine physicians, internists, cardiologists, and cardiothoracic surgeons to examine whether the patient's sex, race/ethnicity, and social circumstances impacted treatment preferences for different physician subgroups. All physicians were randomized to receive 1 of 4 questionnaires that contained a vignette describing certain hypothetical situations (desire for an active lifestyle, heavy career or family demands) for a 50-year patient who was a candidate for coronary revascularization who was 1) female, 2) male, 3) black male, or 4) white male. The response rate was 70% (544 of 777). The patient's race/ethnicity and sex did not significantly affect the physicians' treatment preferences. However, significant differences were found according to the social circumstance. More male physicians (78%) than female physicians (66%) recommended revascularization for patients with heavy family demands (P < 0.05). In logistic regression analyses, if the patient desired an active lifestyle, black and Hispanic physicians and fee-for-service physicians preferred revascularization less often than white and salaried physicians, respectively (odds ratio [OR] = 0.45 [0.21–0.94] for black/Hispanic; OR = 0.40 [0.18–0.86] for fee-for-service). Based on these results, certain social circumstances might influence treatment preferences among physician subgroups more than sex- or race-based patient factors. Research examining for causes of disparities in cardiac care should consider the effects of sociocultural issues on management decisions. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.