Considering Culture in Physician-Patient Communication During Colorectal Cancer Screening

San José State University, San José, California, USA.
Qualitative Health Research (Impact Factor: 2.19). 05/2009; 19(6):778-89. DOI: 10.1177/1049732309335269
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Racial and ethnic disparities exist in both incidence and stage detection of colorectal cancer (CRC). We hypothesized that cultural practices (i.e., communication norms and expectations) influence patients' and their physicians' understanding and talk about CRC screening. We examined 44 videotaped observations of clinic visits that included a CRC screening recommendation and transcripts from semistructured interviews that doctors and patients separately completed following the visit. We found that interpersonal relationship themes such as power distance, trust, directness/ indirectness, and an ability to listen, as well as personal health beliefs, emerged as affecting patients' definitions of provider-patient effective communication. In addition, we found that in discordant physician-patient interactions (when each is from a different ethnic group), physicians did not solicit or address cultural barriers to CRC screening and patients did not volunteer culture-related concerns regarding CRC screening.

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