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J Gen Intern Med. 2007 Nov;22(11):1538-43. Epub 2007 Sep 20.

The medical dialogue: disentangling differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, TN, USA. lwallace@mc.utmck.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients' race and ethnicity play an important role in quality of and access to healthcare in the United States.

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the influence of ethnicity--Hispanic whites vs. non-Hispanic whites--on respondents' self-reported interactions with healthcare providers. To understand, among Hispanic whites, how demographic and socioeconomic characteristics impact their interactions with healthcare providers.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional analysis of the 2002 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a nationally representative survey on medical care conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

PARTICIPANTS:

Civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population aged > or = 18 years who reported visiting a healthcare provider within the past 12 months prior to data collection.

RESULTS:

After controlling for several demographic and socioeconomic covariates, compared to non-Hispanic whites (reference group), Hispanic whites who had visited a doctor's office or clinic in the past 12 months were more likely to report that their healthcare provider "always" listened to them [odds ratio (OR) = 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.21-1.53], explained things so that they understood (OR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.10-1.41), showed respect for what they had to say (OR = 1.52, 95% CI 1.35-1.72), and spent enough time with them (OR = 1.22, 95% CI 1.08-1.38). However, Hispanics were less likely to indicate that their health care provider "always" gave them control over treatment options (OR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.72-0.95) as compared to non-Hispanics. Within the Hispanic population exclusively, age, place of residence, census region, health insurance status, and presence of a usual source of care influenced self-reported interactions with healthcare providers.

CONCLUSION:

Hispanic white respondents were more likely to report that some aspects of provider-patient interactions were indicative of high quality, whereas those related to decision-making autonomy were not. These somewhat paradoxical results should be examined more fully in future research.

PMID:
17882501
PMCID:
PMC2219812
DOI:
10.1007/s11606-007-0368-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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