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Finding Common Ground: Can Provider-Patient Race Concordance and Self-disclosure Bolster Patient Trust, Perceptions, and Intentions?

  • Samantha NazioneEmail author
  • Evan K. Perrault
  • David M. Keating
Article
  • 36 Downloads

Abstract

Background

Improvements in provider-patient relationships may help alleviate health disparities. Provider-patient race concordance and provider self-disclosure are variables that may help improve this relationship.

Purpose

This study sought to answer if provider-patient race concordance and provider self-disclosure may improve patient trust, rapport, similarity, likeability, intention to disclose, satisfaction, behavioral intention to keep a provider, and intention to recommend a provider, while using empathy as a covariate.

Methods

Using 882 White or Black participants, the current research used a 2 × 2 online experimental design. Participants were asked to read a vignette in which they were told they had borderline high cholesterol and needed to eat a healthier diet, by either a Black or White male physician, who either self-disclosed or did not self-disclose regarding their own struggle to eat a healthy diet. After reading this vignette, participants were surveyed regarding the dependent variables of interest.

Results

Participants in a Black concordant dyad reported higher levels of similarity than those in any other dyad. Provider self-disclosure led to higher levels of trust, rapport, similarity, likeability, intention to disclose, satisfaction, behavioral intention to continue using the provider, and intention to recommend the provider. No interaction effects were found.

Conclusion

While it is possible, based on past research, that race-concordant pairings may lead to trust via similarity, provider self-disclosure directly increased perceptions of trust as well as providing numerous other benefits. This study supports the importance of trainings for providers on health-related self-disclosure to benefit both parties in provider-patient dyads.

Keywords

Provider-patient communication Race concordance Self-disclosure Trust 

Notes

Funding Information

This research was funded by startup funds provided by Purdue University, College of Liberal Arts.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethics Approval

All procedures performed in studies 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 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Communication DepartmentBerry CollegeMount BerryUSA
  2. 2.Brian Lamb School of CommunicationPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  3. 3.California State University, Northridge, Communication StudiesNorthridgeUSA

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