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Patient Educ Couns. 2016 May;99(5):844-54. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2015.12.007. Epub 2015 Dec 12.

Disparities in perceived patient-provider communication quality in the United States: Trends and correlates.

Author information

1
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address: Kiara.Spooner@bcm.edu.
2
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address: Jason.Salemi@bcm.edu.
3
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address: Hamisu.Salihu@bcm.edu.
4
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address: Roger.Zoorob@bcm.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed to describe disparities and temporal trends in the level of perceived patient-provider communication quality (PPPCQ) in the United States, and to identify sociodemographic and health-related factors associated with elements of PPPCQ.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using nationally-representative data from the 2011-2013 iterations of the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). Descriptive statistics, multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine associations.

RESULTS:

PPPCQ scores, the composite measure of patients' ratings of communication quality, were positive overall (82.8; 95% CI: 82.1-83.5). However, less than half (42-46%) of respondents perceived that providers always addressed their feelings, spent enough time with them, or helped with feelings of uncertainty about their health. Older adults and those with a regular provider consistently had higher PPPCQ scores, while those with poorer perceived general health were consistently less likely to have positive perceptions of their providers' communication behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Disparities in PPPCQ can be attributed to patients' age, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, employment status, income, healthcare access and general health.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

These findings may inform educational and policy efforts which aim to improve patient-provider communication, enhance the quality of care, and reduce health disparities.

KEYWORDS:

National survey; Patient perceptions; Patient-centered care; Patient–provider communication

PMID:
26725930
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2015.12.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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