Misdiagnosing mental health

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2015 | Failure To Diagnose

New Mexico residents may be interested in learning more about some of the recent data concerning patients being misdiagnosed. Researchers discovered that mental health professionals misdiagnosed disadvantaged patients twice as often as the average patient. Studies indicated that these doctors may be more likely to misdiagnose mental health conditions when they are working amidst a disadvantaged population. Patients may be misdiagnosed according to the stigmas or social status that the medical professional perceives their demographics to reflect.

Researchers claim that tens of thousands of patients are misdiagnosed by mental health professionals who based their evaluations on inaccurate profiling. Past studies have indicated that a patient’s race or ethnicity may affect the quality of the examination and how well their information is collected by medical staff. Medical professionals who may be classified as being social advantaged have exhibited a bias towards patients perceived to be of equivalent economic stature.

The disadvantaged patient’s mental health is likely to worsen because they are misdiagnosed by medical professionals more frequently. In order to reduce the propensity of these errors, researchers contend that cultural competency may be vital to clinical training, and that diversity among mental health professionals should be improved. They say that cross-cultural differences and favoritism may also be potential causes of patients being misdiagnosed. Mental health professionals’ predispositions about certain culture may compel them to attribute the causes of certain symptoms or conditions hastily or inaccurately.

Patients who have suffered injuries because of a failure to diagnose may be entitled to receive restitution for the resulting damages. Lawyers may help injured plaintiffs recover compensation designed to offset medical costs, loss of income and other hardships that were caused by the health professional’s error. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, the entire healthcare facility or ownership group could be held liable for the resulting damages.


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