Why isn't evidence based practice improving health care for minorities in the United States?

Haeok Lee, Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, Sung Yi Baik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Achieving health equity by improving the health care of all racial/ethnic groups is one of the key goals of Healthy People 2020. The implementation of evidence based practice (EBP) has been a major recommendation to achieve health equity in hopes of eliminating the subjectivity of clinical decision making. However, health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities are persistent in spite of the adoption of standardized care based on evidence. The EBP with racial and ethnic minorities is often seen as a possible cause of health and health care disparities. Three potential issues of using EBP to reduce health disparities have been identified: (1) a lack of data for EBP with ethnic/racial minority populations; (2) limited research on the generalizability of the evidence based on a European-American middle-class; and (3) sociocultural considerations in the context of EBP. Using EBP to reduce disparities in health care and health outcomes requires that nurse professionals should know how to use relevant evidence in a particular situation as well as to generate knowledge and theory which is relevant to racial/ethnic minorities. In addition, EBP implementation should be contextualized within the sociocultural environments in which patients are treated rather than solely focusing on the health problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Asian Americans
  • Data disparities
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Health disparities
  • Hepatitis B virus infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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