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Health information equity: Rebalancing healthcare collections for racial diversity in UK public service contexts

O'Driscoll, G. & Bawden, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-0478-6456 (2022). Health information equity: Rebalancing healthcare collections for racial diversity in UK public service contexts. Education for Information, 38(4), pp. 315-336. doi: 10.3233/efi-220051


COVID-19 illustrated health disparities experienced by racially minoritised people, with heightened risks faced by Black and South Asian communities lending the issue transparency and urgency. Despite efforts to decolonise medical education, deficits in racial representation in research and resources remain. This study investigates the potential and imperatives for healthcare information services to contribute to health equity through their collections. The literature analysis explores collection management, decolonisation, social justice in librarianship, and Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a framework for change in information contexts. A survey of UK National Health Service (NHS) librarians provides a snapshot of awareness of health information inequity. Semistructured interviews explore information professionals’ experiences of anti-racism in the system. The findings indicate strong engagement with the need for equitable resources but highlight some barriers to success. Opportunities identified include potential for addressing systemic racism in collection policy, capability of information services to influence, or engage in, authorship and publishing to address gaps, and the need for race-based data standards in healthcare. Synthesis of the findings through a framework of CRT tenets illustrates the relevance and utility of CRT as a tool for pursuit of equity in information practice, scholarship, and education.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Healthcare Information, Information Ethics, CRT
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Library & Information Science
SWORD Depositor:
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