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J Health Commun. 2010 Apr;15(3):272-92. doi: 10.1080/10810731003686598.

Are racial differences in patient-physician cancer communication and information explained by background, predisposing, and enabling factors?

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Program for Cancer Control and Population Science, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


Research shows that African Americans tend to have poorer and less informative patient-physician communication than Whites. We analyzed survey data from 248 African American and 244 White cancer patients to examine whether this disadvantage could be explained by race variability on several other variables commonly reported to affect communication. These variables were organized into background, enabling, and predisposing factors, based on the Precede-Proceed Model. Multivariate regressions were used to test whether race differences in communication and information variables persisted after successively controlling for background, enabling, and predisposing factors. African American patients had higher interpersonal communication barriers than Whites, but this difference did not persist after controlling for background factors. African Americans also had higher unmet information needs and were less likely to receive the name of a cancer expert. These differences persisted after controlling for all other factors. Future research should focus on the informational disadvantages of African American patients and how such disadvantages may affect cancer treatment decisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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