Association between patient-provider racial and ethnic concordance and patient-centered communication in outpatient mental health clinics.
Mujica, Christin A.
- People of color, in the United States, experience worse health outcomes than their white counterparts. This thesis focuses on improving access to quality care. Patient-centered communication (PCC) has been identified in the literature as a provider characteristic central to providing quality care to patients. Some evidence suggests that racial/ethnic patient-provider concordance may be associated ... read morewith increased PCC because of improved trust and mutual understanding between patient-provider matches. This thesis explores whether there was a difference in PCC between racial/ethnic concordant and discordant groups in a sample of behavioral health providers and their patients. This thesis utilized data from the “Effectiveness of DECIDE in Patient-Provider Communication, Therapeutic Alliance, and Care Coordination study”. PCC was measured with the use of a coding system that examines a provider’s ability to encourage expressive communication. Racial/Ethnic concordance was measured as whether or not patients and providers identified with the same racial or ethnic background. Three separate ANOVA’s were conducted to analyze any relationship that may exist between groups (concordance or discordance) and the three measures of PCC. No significant differences were found between groups in any of the three items measuring aspects of PCC. This study was one of the first to examine racial/ethnic concordance and its impact on PCC in the behavioral health field. While there was no relationship between concordance and PCC, the overlap in the ability of these characteristics to increase perceived similarity and improve trust, remains important to the therapeutic function of behavioral health care. Both characteristics should continue to remain under consideration when it comes to improving quality of care.read less