Exploring Racial Differences in Patient Centeredness of Care (PCC) During Breast Cancer (BC) Chemotherapy Clinical Visits

  • Tinnikkar Angel Robertson-Jones
  • Madison M. Tissue
  • Mary Connolly
  • Sarah Frazier Gallups
  • Catherine M. Bender
  • Margaret Quinn RosenzweigEmail author



The communication patterns between clinician and patient, described as the patient centeredness of care (PCC), may be a critically important etiology of breast cancer (BC) racial disparity. The purpose of this prospective, comparative pilot study was to qualitatively explore and code for PCC during the clinical visit of women undergoing BC chemotherapy and compare by race.


Age-matched Black and White women were recruited. Audio recordings of clinical visits conducted prior to any cycle (except first) chemotherapy infusion were obtained and transcribed. Transcripts were blindly reviewed by three independent coders assigning PCC scores, ranging from 1 to 5, with lower scores indicating better PCC. Consensus was reached among reviewers via discussion.


Dyads consisted of five Black (mean age 47) and five White (mean age 45) women undergoing BC chemotherapy. Twenty-four recordings were analyzed, 13 White and 11 Black. For all 22 PCC items, the mean scores were worse for Black women with significant differences (compared by chi-square analysis) noted for 6/22 items (27%).


Qualitatively exploring clinician and patient communication patterns during the chemotherapy clinical visits informs the understanding of racial differences for symptom assessment, reporting, and management. These pilot findings inform future research exploring racial disparity in cancer treatment dose intensity.


Racial disparity Breast cancer chemotherapy Patient-centered communication Symptom management 



This study was funded by The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing [HUB 04.30148.00304].

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hampton University School of NursingHamptonUSA
  2. 2.University of Pittsburgh School of NursingPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Acute and Tertiary Care DepartmentUniversity of Pittsburgh School of NursingPittsburghUSA

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