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Effect of provider characteristics on communication between provider and patient in an obese African American male population

Green Ekadi, PhD1, William N. Washington, DPA, MPH2, CK Chen, EdD2, Flora Ukoli, MSBS, DPH2, and Edwin Everett, BS2. (1) Family and Community Medicine, Meharry Medical College, School of Graduate Studies and Research, 1005 D. B. Todd Jr. Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37208, (2) Public Health Practice, Meharry Medical College, School of Graduate Studies and Research, 1005 D. B. Todd Jr. Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37208, 615-646-8223, eeverett03@mmc.edu

Obesity is a serious health risk to the African American population and there is a need to reduce its prevalence. Despite enormous public and private investments in this problem, it persists. Obesity is the single most important preventable risk factor for diabetes and heart disease, the leading causes of mortality among African-American men. Understanding the determinants of the communication pattern will be important for developing strategies for improvement. This will, in turn, increase providersí understanding and ability to counsel their patients effectively, and increase patientsí willingness and ability to comply with weight control counseling. Adequate provider-patient communication makes diagnosis and treatment interactive, reduces clinical uncertainty, promotes informational symmetry, creates trust in the care process environment, and is considered a key strategy for health promotion and disease prevention. In the absence of this kind of interaction, both provider and patient are ill-informed, errors become possible and the agency relationship between provider and patient becomes imperfect.

The objective of this study is to evaluate the influence of providersí characteristics on the communication process between them and their patients regarding overweight and obesity. The study plans to evaluate the communication experiences of African American men and their providers regarding overweight and obesity.

Study participants will be providers, including physicians and nurses, who serve African American male patients. A questionnaire will be developed to capture providersí characteristics that affect their ability to communicate effectively with their African American male overweight and obese patients.

Learning Objectives: Provider characteristics as determinants of provider patient communication.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Obesity As An Epidemic Challenge

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA