Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 495–498

Physician Cultural Competence and Patient Ratings of the Patient-Physician Relationship

  • Kathryn A. Paez
  • Jerilyn K. Allen
  • Mary Catherine Beach
  • Kathryn A. Carson
  • Lisa A. Cooper
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-009-0919-7

Cite this article as:
Paez, K.A., Allen, J.K., Beach, M.C. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2009) 24: 495. doi:10.1007/s11606-009-0919-7

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE

To determine the association of patients’ ratings of the patient-physician relationship with physicians’ self-reported cultural competence (CC).

METHODS

Physicians completed a survey assessing their CC in three domains: motivation to learn about other cultures (motivation attitudes), awareness of white privilege and acceptance of a racial group’s choice to retain distinct customs and values (power assimilation attitudes), and clinical behaviors reflective of CC. Their African-American and white patients completed interviews assessing satisfaction with the medical visit, trust in their physician, perceptions of their physician’s respect for them and their participation in care. We conducted regression analyses to explore the associations between CC and patient ratings of the relationship.

RESULTS

Patients of physicians reporting more motivation to learn about other cultures were more satisfied (OR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.0–4.4), perceived their physicians were more facilitative (β = 0.4, p = 0.02) and reported seeking and sharing more information during the medical visit (β = 0.2, p = 0.03). Physicians’ power assimilation attitudes were associated with patients’ ratings of physician facilitation (β = 0.4, p = 0.02). Patients of physicians reporting more frequent CC behaviors were more satisfied (OR = 3.1, 95% CI = 1.4–6.9) and reported seeking and sharing more information (β = 0.3, p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS

Attitudinal and behavioral components of CC are important to developing higher quality, participative relationships between patients and their physicians.

KEY WORDS

cultural competenceprimary care physiciandisparitiesinterpersonal relationshipqualitypatient participation

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn A. Paez
    • 1
  • Jerilyn K. Allen
    • 2
  • Mary Catherine Beach
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Kathryn A. Carson
    • 6
  • Lisa A. Cooper
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Center for Health Research and PolicySocial & Scientific Systems, Inc.Silver SpringUSA
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins University School of NursingBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical ResearchJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Department of Health, Behavior and SocietyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  6. 6.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  7. 7.Department of Health Policy & ManagementJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA