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Ethn Health. 2014;19(5):565-78. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2013.857764. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Patient-physician racial/ethnic concordance and blood pressure control: the role of trust and medication adherence.

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a Department of Population Health , NYU School of Medicine , New York , NY , USA.



To examine the associations between racial/ethnic concordance and blood pressure (BP) control, and to determine whether patient trust and medication adherence mediate these associations.


Cross-sectional study of 723 hypertensive African-American and white patients receiving care from 205 white and African-American providers at 119 primary care clinics, from 2001 to 2005. Racial/ethnic concordance was characterized as dyads where both the patient and physician were of the same race/ethnicity; discordance occurred in dyads where the patient was African-American and the physician was white. Patient perceptions of trust and medication adherence were assessed with self-report measures. The BP readings were abstracted from patients' medical charts using standardized procedures.


Six hundred thirty-seven patients were in race/ethnic-concordant relationships; 86 were in race/ethnic-discordant relationships. Concordance had no association with BP control. White patients in race/ethnic-concordant relationships were more likely to report better adherence than African-American patients in race/ethnic-discordant relationships (OR: 1.27, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.61, p = 0.04). Little difference in adherence was found for African-American patients in race/ethnic-concordant vs. discordant relationships. Increasing trust was associated with significantly better adherence (OR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.31, p < 0.01) and a trend toward better BP control among all patients (OR: 1.26, 95% CI: 0.97, 1.63, p = 0.07).


Patient trust may influence medication adherence and BP control regardless of patient-physician racial/ethnic composition.


blood pressure control; medication adherence; racial/ethnic concordance; trust

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