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Variables from the Health Tracking Household Survey 2007 were mapped to fit the "integrative model" of patient-doctor communication proposed by Ashton et al. (2003) to describe how communication patterns between patients and doctors influence patients' health outcomes. Patients' perceptions of their physician's attentiveness were examined to determine if perceived attentiveness mediated the relationship between physicians' recommendations (to diet and exercise) and health. Ethnic group differences related to these variables were explored. Overall, patient perception of physician attentiveness did significantly mediate the relationship between recommendations and patients' general health status. Hispanics and African Americans perceived their physicians as significantly less attentive to them, compared to Caucasians' perception of attentiveness. Across all ethnic groups, there was no evidence that doctors' recommendations to diet and exercise had an effect on patients' body mass index. The findings support previous research regarding the importance of physicians' communication skills and cultural sensitivity in promoting patient adherence to health recommendations.


Tatiana Basáñez, Lyzette Blanco, Jose Luis Collazo, Dale E Berger, William D Crano. Ethnic groups' perception of physicians' attentiveness: implications for health and obesity. Psychology, health & medicine. 2013;18(1):37-46

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PMID: 22533465

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