Antiracist Action Opportunities through Intentional Patient Experience Surveying within Inpatient Psychiatry

Christopher AhnAllen, PhD

Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Faculty
AhnAllen_Christopher poster

Scientific Abstract

Background: Examination of patient experiences within an inpatient psychiatry unit associated with race-based content is important to understand identify opportunities for antiracist actions in care (Sukhera & Palaniyappan, 2021). Inpatient psychiatric care that intentionally attends to patients’ racial identity and addresses experiences of racism is needed (Argueza et al., 2021).

Methods: Adults admitted to a locked inpatient psychiatric unit completed an anonymous and confidential survey using Google Form or paper forms about patient care experiences on the unit between August and December of 2021. The survey was developed in multiple languages and was constructed in conjunction with the 2 South Unit Antiracism Task Force at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. The instrument included self-reported items of demographics, attention to race/ethnicity/culture in care, knowledge of racism, perceptions of discrimination by race, and experience of communicating about race on the unit.

Results: A small sample (N = 13) completed this survey who were majority female (61.5%), majority BIPOC-identified (57.3%), and between 18-69 years old.  The vast majority (75%) indicated that their race, ethnicity and/or identity was addressed with excellence in their care. A very small minority of patients indicated they felt discriminated against due to their race/ethnicity/identity while receiving care on the unit by professional staff (n = 1) or other patients (n = 1). Most patients felt comfortable speaking with professional staff (88.9%) over support staff (44.4%) and other patients (22.2%) about racism on the unit. Two patients reported observing discrimination of other patients due to their race/ethnicity/identity on the unit. Importantly, 45.5% of patients indicated that they either agreed or strongly agreed that they have been positively impacted with race-related comments on the unit, while 36.7% indicated negative impact. 

Conclusions: Intentional actions to integrate patient racial and ethnic identities within inpatient psychiatric care is important given experiences of racism that can impact care within this setting.

Live Zoom Session – March 9th

research Areas


Christopher AhnAllen, PhD, Amara Dailey, BA, Maria Olivier, RN MSN, Sohenga Depestre, MA, Victoria Buckley, MS, OTR/L, Keyauna Hoffman, BA, CPS, Candice Roquemore-Bonner, PsyD

Principal Investigator

Christopher AhnAllen, PhD