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J Health Commun. 2006;11 Suppl 1:135-46.

Factors associated with patients' perceptions of health care providers' communication behavior.

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Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Science, SAIC-Frederick, Inc., National Cancer Institute-Frederick, Frederick, Maryland 20892-7337, USA.


We examined patients' ratings of communication with health care providers by sociodemographic characteristics, health care access, and health status. Data were from a national, population-based survey, the 2003 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). The survey was administered to 6,369 adults from a representative sample of U.S. households. Linear regression analysis was conducted using SUDAAN. None of the sociodemographic variables were significantly associated with patients' ratings of providers' communication behavior in the linear model. Ratings of health care providers' communication behavior, however, were significantly higher among respondents with health insurance (p = 0.007) and those with a usual source of health care from whom they consistently sought care (p < 0.001). Ratings of provider communication were significantly lower among respondents who perceived their general health to be fair or poor (p < 0.001) and among those respondents with greater depressive symptoms (p < 0.001). Differences in patient ratings of health care providers' communication by health care access and health status suggest the potential for disparities in health outcomes.

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