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Public Health Reports: Naming Institutionalized Racism in the Public Health Literature: A Systematic Literature Review

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Dr. Rachel Hardeman, Ms. Katy Murphy, Ms. J’Mag Karbeah, and Dr. Katy Backes Kozhimannil of University of Minnesota School of Public Health reviewed the contemporary peer-reviewed public health literature from 2002 – 2015 to determine whether the concept of institutionalized racism was named (ie, explicitly mentioned) in the articles. They used a systematic literature review methodology to find articles from the top 50 highest-impact public health journals that mentioned terms related to institutionalized racism in their titles or abstracts. They found only 25 such articles. Authors conclude that although institutionalized racism is recognized as a fundamental cause of health inequities, it was not often explicitly named in the titles or abstracts of public health research articles . These results highlight the need to explicitly name institutionalized racism in the public health literature and to make it a central concept in inequities research.

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Public Health Reports is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health.

Visit the Public Health Reports homepage for more information about the journal.