Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 10, pp 2847–2856 | Cite as

A Comparative Study of Liver Disease Care in the USA and Urban and Rural China

  • Ming Yang
  • Elizabeth Wu
  • Huiying Rao
  • Fanny H. Du
  • Angela Xie
  • Shanna Cheng
  • Cassandra Rodd
  • Andy Lin
  • Lai Wei
  • Anna S. Lok
Original Article



Chronic liver disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the USA and China, but the etiology of liver disease, medical practice, and patient expectations in these two countries are different.


To compare patient knowledge about their liver disease, patient satisfaction with liver disease care, and patient medical decision-making preference in the USA and China.


Three cohorts of established adult patients with liver disease seen in liver clinics in Ann Arbor, USA, and Beijing (urban) and Hebei (rural), China, completed a survey between May and September 2014.


A total of 990 patients (395 USA, 398 Beijing, and 197 Hebei) were analyzed. Mean liver disease knowledge score (maximum 5) in the USA, Beijing, and Hebei patients was 4.1, 3.6, and 3.0, respectively (p < 0.001). US patients had a greater preference for collaborative decision-making: 71.8 % preferred to make treatment decisions together with the doctor, while most Chinese patients (74.6 % Beijing and 84.8 % Hebei) preferred passive decision-making. Mean satisfaction score (maximum 85) in the USA was higher than in Beijing, which in turn was higher than in Hebei (78.2 vs. 66.5 vs. 60.3, p < 0.001). There was a positive correlation between liver disease knowledge score and satisfaction score (r = 0.27, p < 0.001) and with collaborative medical decision-making (r = 0.22, p < 0.001) when responses from all sites were combined.


Liver disease knowledge and patient satisfaction were greatest in the USA, followed by Beijing and then Hebei patients. Understanding these differences and associated factors may help to improve patient outcomes.


Knowledge gaps Healthcare delivery Hepatitis Cultural differences Medical decision-making 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming Yang
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Wu
    • 2
  • Huiying Rao
    • 1
  • Fanny H. Du
    • 3
  • Angela Xie
    • 2
  • Shanna Cheng
    • 2
  • Cassandra Rodd
    • 2
  • Andy Lin
    • 4
  • Lai Wei
    • 1
  • Anna S. Lok
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Hepatology Institute, Peking University People’s HospitalPeking University Health Science CenterBeijingChina
  2. 2.Division of Gastroenterology and HepatologyUniversity of Michigan Health SystemAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.University of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.The Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience InstituteUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.University of Michigan Health SystemAnn ArborUSA

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