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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Maryland: Study Finds Patient Centered-Communication Can Increase Medical Care Satisfaction Among U.S. Immigrants

In a study published this month, University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers found that patient-centered communication, like good listening, respect and spending enough time with the patient, could be effective in improving medical care satisfaction among U.S. immigrant patients. 

Health policy and management doctoral student Mr. Jun Chu analyzed data from the national 2007 to 2016 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, to examine whether immigrants’ satisfaction with care is influenced by patient-centered communication and racial concordance — if the provider and patient are the same race. 

Study co-authors included Dr. Dylan Roby, associate professor of health policy and management, along with Dr. Nianyang Wang, and Ms. Yooni Choi, an MPH graduate.

The researchers found that having racially concordant providers did not increase the likelihood of immigrant patients being very satisfied with medical care. 

But, their findings did show that practicing patient-centered communication could help to mitigate racial and cultural differences between providers and patients and reduce disparities in satisfaction with medical care. 

The study found that while all immigrant racial and ethnic groups preferred providers who listened, spent enough time and explained things well. There was also a subset of immigrants who preferred providers that showed respect or included the patient in making decisions. 

The researchers said that because of different cultural expectations, medical providers should adjust their strategies based on the race and ethnicity of their patients, to increase patient satisfaction. 

“The Effect of Patient-Centered Communication and Racial Concordant Care on Care Satisfaction Among US Immigrants,” was published in Medical Care Research and Review.

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