Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 1234–1240

Experiences with Hospital Care: Perspectives of Black and Hispanic Patients

  • LeRoi S. Hicks
  • Dora A. Tovar
  • E. John Orav
  • Paula A. Johnson
Populations at Risk



Significant racial and ethnic differences along several dimensions of patients’experiences with hospital care have been previously documented. However, the relationship between these differences and possible differences in processes of care has not been well described.


We conducted focus groups with 37 black and Hispanic men and women who had recently been discharged from either medical or obstetrical services at an urban academic medical center to assess which dimensions of these patients’ experiences with care were most important in determining overall levels of satisfaction.


Differences were found between Hispanics and blacks in the factors that influence their overall positive and negative experiences. Participants identified two themes that influence experiences with hospital care that are not commonly examined in many patient satisfaction instruments: availability and quality of translators, and attitudes of social workers and nursing staff.


Our findings suggest that hospitals should pursue hiring a culturally diverse work force and should collect racial and ethnically specific data about satisfaction with care including satisfaction with availability of social workers and interpreters.


race patient satisfaction focus groups 


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • LeRoi S. Hicks
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  • Dora A. Tovar
    • 3
  • E. John Orav
    • 1
  • Paula A. Johnson
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Brigham and Women’s-Faulkner Hospitalist ProgramHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Women’s Health, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health Care PolicyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Division of General Internal MedicineBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA

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