Racial and ethnic disparities in the use of health services: bias, preferences, or poor communication?
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African Americans and Latinos use services that require a doctor's order at lower rates than do whites. Racial bias and patient preferences contribute to disparities, but their effects appear small. Communication during the medical interaction plays a central role in decision making about subsequent interventions and health behaviors. Research has shown that doctors have poorer communication with minority patients than with others, but problems in doctor-patient communication have received little attention as a potential cause, a remediable one, of health disparities. We evaluate the evidence that poor communication is a cause of disparities and propose some remedies drawn from the communication sciences.
author list (cited authors)
Ashton, C. M., Haidet, P., Paterniti, D. A., Collins, T. C., Gordon, H. S., O'Malley, K., ... Street, R. L.
complete list of authors
Ashton, Carol M||Haidet, Paul||Paterniti, Debora A||Collins, Tracie C||Gordon, Howard S||O'Malley, Kimberly||Petersen, Laura A||Sharf, Barbara F||Suarez-Almazor, Maria E||Wray, Nelda P||Street, Richard L