Race, healthcare access and physician trust among prostate cancer patients



To study the effect of healthcare access and other characteristics on physician trust among black and white prostate cancer patients.


A three-timepoint follow-up telephone survey after cancer diagnosis was conducted. This study analyzed data on 474 patients and their 1,320 interviews over three time periods.


Among other subpopulations, black patients who delayed seeking care had physician trust levels that were far lower than that of both Caucasians as well as that of the black patients overall. Black patients had greater variability in their levels of physician trust compared to their white counterparts.


Both race and access are important in explaining overall lower levels and greater variability in physician trust among black prostate cancer patients. Access barriers among black patients may spill over to the clinical encounter in the form of less physician trust, potentially contributing to racial disparities in treatment received and subsequent outcomes. Policy efforts to address the racial disparities in prostate cancer should prioritize improving healthcare access among minority groups.

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This project was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality—Grant No: 5P01HS010861, The Duke Endowment, the UNC Program on Health Outcomes, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities—Grant 1P60MD00244, National Cancer Institute—Grants 1U01CA114629 and 2R25CA057726, Department of Defense—Grant PC060911, and NIH—Grant P30 DK 034987.

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Correspondence to William R. Carpenter.

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Do, Y.K., Carpenter, W.R., Spain, P. et al. Race, healthcare access and physician trust among prostate cancer patients. Cancer Causes Control 21, 31–40 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-009-9431-y

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  • Race
  • Disparity
  • Prostate neoplasm
  • Healthcare utilization
  • Trust