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J Health Commun. 2015;20(7):759-65. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2015.1018592. Epub 2015 May 26.

The Relation Between Having a Usual Source of Care and Ratings of Care Quality: Does Patient-Centered Communication Play a Role?

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a Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Healthcare Delivery , Mayo Clinic , Rochester , Minnesota , USA.


Having a usual source of health care has been consistently associated with greater use of preventive services, decreased use of emergency services, and with patients' ratings of quality and satisfaction with care. Ongoing patient-provider relationships may be, in part, fostered by patient-centered communication. Growing evidence demonstrates that positive patient-centered communication improves adherence to treatment recommendations, management of chronic disease, quality of life, and disease-related outcomes. We aimed to determine how patient-centered communication between patients and physicians might mediate the relation between having a source of usual care and ratings of health care quality. We analyzed data from Cycle 1 of the fourth iteration of the Health Information National Trends Survey. Data were collected through mailed questionnaire in October 2011 through February 2012 (N = 3,959). Overall, individuals with a usual source of care reported more patient-centered communication experiences and had higher ratings of quality of care. Parameter estimates for each pathway in the mediation model were estimated through regression analysis. Results confirm the importance of patient-centered communication in shaping patients' perceptions of the quality of their care, accounting for a significant portion of the observed relation between having a usual source of care and ratings of quality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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