Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Spotlight on CSDE Affiliate, Emily Williams

Posted: 9/16/2020 (CSDE Research)

Dr. Emily Williams is a Professor of Health Services and Director of the Doctoral Program in Health Services at the University of Washington. She is also core investigator and co-director of the post-doctoral fellowship at the Denver-Seattle Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered Value-Driven Care at VA Puget Sound Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D). Her research is specifically focused on increasing access to evidence-based treatments for unhealthy alcohol and other substance use in diverse medical settings, including understanding and promoting equity in this care for vulnerable patient subpopulations (e.g., those with HIV and HCV, racial/ethnic minorities, persons living in rural areas, transgender patients, and women).Recently, Dr. Williams, along with co-authors, published a study in Drug and Alchohol Dependence examining the effect of racial/ethnic discrimination on the risk of DSM-5 alcohol use disorder (AUD) severity levels. They find that in comparison to those who did not experience discrimination, those who experienced discrimination had a 1.5-fold greater risk of mild AUD, a 1.6-fold greater risk of moderate AUD, and a 2.3-fold greater risk of severe AUD.

Using a multinomial logistic regression based approach, the authors use data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol-Related Conditions III to examine associations between measures of racial/ethnic discrimination and past-year AUD severity levels following the DSM-5 definition, while adjusting for poverty thresholds set by the U.S. Census Bureau, and race/ethnicity (American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Other Pacific Islander; Black or African American; Hispanic or Latino). They also evaluate whether associations between discrimination and AUD severity varied by poverty status and race/ethnicity. To read the article, please click here.