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Patient-Centered Communication, Ratings of Care, and Concordance of Patient and Physician Race

Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH; Debra L. Roter, DrPH; Rachel L. Johnson, BA; Daniel E. Ford, MD, MPH; Donald M. Steinwachs, PhD; and Neil R. Powe, MD, MPH, MBA
[+] Article and Author Information

From Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.


Presented in part at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, 6 May 2000.

Disclaimer: The views presented here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Commonwealth Fund, its directors, officers, or staff.

Acknowledgments: The authors thank Eliseo Guallar, MD, DrPH, for advice on revision of the manuscript.

Grant Support: By research grants from the Commonwealth Fund, the Bayer Institute for Health Care Communication, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Cooper was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Minority Medical Faculty Development Program during the time this work was conducted.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, 2024 East Monument Street, Suite 2-500, Baltimore, MD 21205-2223; e-mail, lisa.cooper@jhmi.edu.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Cooper, Ms. Johnson, and Dr. Ford: Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, 2024 East Monument Street, Suite 2-500, Baltimore, MD 21205-2223.

Dr. Roter: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Hampton House, 624 North Broadway, Room 750, Baltimore, MD 21205-1999.

Dr. Steinwachs: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Hampton House, 624 North Broadway, Room 482, Baltimore, MD 21205-1999.

Dr. Powe: Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, 2024 East Monument Street, Suite 2-600, Baltimore, MD 21205-2223.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: L.A. Cooper, D.L. Roter, D.E. Ford, N.R. Powe.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: L.A. Cooper, D.L. Roter, R.L. Johnson, D.E. Ford, N.R. Powe.

Drafting of the article: L.A. Cooper, D.L. Roter, R.L. Johnson, N.R. Powe.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: L.A. Cooper, D.L. Roter, R.L. Johnson, D.M. Steinwachs, N.R. Powe.

Final approval of the article: L.A. Cooper, D.E. Ford, N.R. Powe.

Statistical expertise: L.A. Cooper, N.R. Powe.

Obtaining of funding: L.A. Cooper.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: L.A. Cooper, N.R. Powe.


Ann Intern Med. 2003;139(11):907-915. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-139-11-200312020-00009
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Our study is one of the first to link race concordance between African-American and white physicians and their patients to directly observed medical communication and patient reported evaluations of the visit. We found support for some, but not all, of our hypotheses. Race-concordant visits were characterized by differences in the communication process, but these differences did not affect the relationship between race concordance and patient ratings of care. This suggests that race concordance has an independent effect on patients' judgment of the visit regardless of the verbal nature of the medical dialogue.

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Relations of patient–physician race concordance with patient-centered communication and patient ratings of care.
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Summary for Patients

Communication in Health Care Visits when Doctors and Patients Have the Same versus Different Ethnic Backgrounds

The summary below is from the full report titled “Patient-Centered Communication, Ratings of Care, and Concordance of Patient and Physician Race.” It is in the 2 December 2003 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 139, pages 907-915). The authors are L.A. Cooper, D.L. Roter, R.L. Johnson, D.E. Ford, D.M. Steinwachs, and N.R. Powe.

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