Lean Into the Uncomfortable: Using Trauma-Informed Care to Engage in Shared Decision-Making With Racial Minorities With Hematologic Malignancies.
Discussions involving racial health disparities must include pathways for engaging in shared decision-making with racial/ethnic minorities. Research demonstrates glaring racial and ethnic disparities when it comes to hematologic malignancies from the time of diagnosis to treatment and even at the end of life. Unfortunately, decision-making in these circumstances may be streamlined, given the urgency of the disease, prognostic uncertainty, and varying treatment options. Being diagnosed with cancer is undoubtedly a traumatic experience and a patient's race and/or ethnicity add an important dimension to their experience. The tenets of trauma-informed care (TIC) are anchored in recognizing that trauma can manifest in several ways and acknowledging the impact of past trauma on a patient's present and future behaviors. We argue that using a TIC approach may help hematologists create a space for decision-making while minimizing the risk of re-traumatization and perpetuating racial disparities. Using the foundation of TIC, an interprofessional team can begin addressing manifestations of trauma and hopefully mitigate racial and ethnic disparities.
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