Predictors of medical mistrust among urban youth of color during the COVID-19 pandemic

Transl Behav Med. 2021 Jun 3:ibab061. doi: 10.1093/tbm/ibab061. Online ahead of print.


The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color and highlighted longstanding racial health inequities. Communities of color also report higher rates of medical mistrust driven by histories of medical mistreatment and continued experiences of discrimination and systemic racism. Medical mistrust may exacerbate COVID-19 disparities. This study utilizes the Behavior Model for Vulnerable Populations to investigate predictors of medical mistrust during the COVID-19 pandemic among urban youth of color. Minority youth (N = 105) were recruited from community organizations in Kansas City, Missouri to complete an online survey between May and June 2020. Multiple linear regressions were performed to estimate the effect of personal characteristics, family and community resources, and COVID-19 need-based factors on medical mistrust. Results indicated that loneliness, financial insecurity (e.g., job loss, loss of income) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and eligibility for free or reduced lunch predicted medical mistrust. Insurance status, neighborhood median household income, social support, and perceived COVID-19 risk were not significantly associated with medical mistrust. Future research and policies are necessary to address systemic factors that perpetuate medical mistrust among youth of color.

PMID:34080637 | DOI:10.1093/tbm/ibab061