Blacks Less Likely Than Whites To Trust Health Care Providers

Usual source of medical care has impact on patient trust

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The scarcity of quality interactions with physicians could be one reason that black patients in the United States are less likely to trust their health care providers than white patients are, according to the results of a study published in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Nearly half of black patients report low trust in health care providers, versus one-third of white patients, the authors say.

Chanita Hughes Halbert, Ph.D., of the Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed the connection between trust in health care providers, previous experiences and other factors reflected in a national survey of 432 black patients and 522 white patients.

The researchers found that 44.7 percent of blacks reported low trust in health care providers, versus 33.5 percent of whites. For black and white patients, the scarcity of quality interactions with providers significantly eroded trust (odds ratio 3.23 for blacks and 3.99 for whites). Moreover, blacks were more likely to report low trust if they typically did not seek their health care at a physician's office.

"While fewer quality interactions with health care providers were associated significantly with low trust in both populations, usual source of medical care was only associated with low trust among African Americans, whereas sex and the number of annual health care visits were associated with low trust among whites," the authors write. "Different factors may influence trust in health care providers among African Americans and whites."

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Clare Kittredge

Clare Kittredge

Updated on April 24, 2006

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