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June 1967

Negro Interviewers and White Patients: The Question of Confidentiality and Trust

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(6):685-692. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730240041007

THE FACT that racial bias can have a profound effect on the interview situation is well known. Most of these data1-4 have been obtained in situations involving white interviewers and Negro interviewees; there has been little research done on the effect of Negro interviewers on white interviewees. This study examined the degree of distortion involved in the collection of confidential material by Negro interviewers in a psychiatric situation involving a white patient population in a predominantly white setting.

Methodology  The subjects were 70 psychiatric patients from King County Hospital, Seattle, a hospital which has a 43-bed psychiatric service and approximately 2,000 admissions a year. The hospital is affiliated with the University of Washington School of Medicine and is an active research and teaching center.All patients on the wards were included in the study, with the exception of those too disturbed to

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