Objectives: To determine if perceptions of interpersonal aspects of care in the emergency department (ED) vary by patient race/ethnicity. Methods: Patients in a tertiary care academic ED responded to a 22-question survey focusing on interpersonal care aspects: affiliation, satisfaction, trust and participation. Scores for each of the four generated scales were compared in terms of race, ethnicity and other basic demographics. Results: African-American patients demonstrated significantly lower mean scores for trust of healthcare providers than Caucasians and significantly lower levels of participation. African-American race/ethnicity continued to be a significant predictor of lower levels of trust (but not participation) after accounting for age, gender, education, household income, health insurance, healthcare received in last six months and route of referral to the ED. Conclusion: Preliminary evidence suggests that African Americans may feel less trust toward their ED providers. Understanding this phenomenon and teaching providers how to reduce distrust may translate into better patient compliance/outcomes and reduce healthcare disparities.
- Emergency care
- Patient-physician relationship
ASJC Scopus subject areas