The Communicative Ecology of Chinese Patients' Experiences with Health Care.
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Patient satisfaction and trust are important intermediate outcomes along pathways linking clinician-patient communication to improve well-being, but they are difficult to achieve in Chinese health care. Problematic physician-patient interactions, questionable health-care organizational practices, and media coverage of medical scandals may have contributed to this problem. Nevertheless, there isscant literature documenting reasons underlying dissatisfaction with Chinese health care. Using Street's ecological model of communication in medical encounters as a conceptual framework, this study explores how media and organizational factors affect Chinese patients' satisfaction and trust both directly and as mediated by the quality of patients' past communication experiences with clinicians. A survey was conducted among 257 Ob-gyn patients in a top-tier hospital in Sichuan, China. The results show that several organizational and media factors, along with patients' experiences with physician communication, predict patient satisfaction and trust. Perceptions of physician communication mediated some of the relationships between organizational and media factors with outcomes. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, particularly with respect to improving health-care services in China.