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Characteristics of culturally sensitive primary care clinics: Views of minority patients

Lisa Ferdinand, EdM, Carolyn Tucker, PhD, Beverly Brady, PhD, and Chanelle Richards, MS. Department of Psychology, University of Florida, 212 Psychology Building, Post Office Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250, (352) 392-0601 ext 260, lferdi@ufl.edu

Minorities receive lower quality of care than Whites, contributing to comparatively higher death rates and shorter life spans among minorities (IOM, 2002). National health care organizations are calling for culturally sensitive/competent health care to help reverse this trend. Culturally diverse minority patients are experts on the characteristics of culturally sensitive high quality health care (Tucker et al., 2003). The socio-cultural environment of the care organization is an important dimension of such health care (Wilde et al., 1993). Using a focus group data collection approach, the present researchers asked 134 low-income Black, Hispanic/Latino, and White patients at community-based clinics to identity clinic and staff characteristics that are indicators of culturally sensitive high quality health care. An independent, but demographically similar sample of patients (N = 172), rated the importance of the identified indicators.

Results revealed differences as well as similarities among the three ethnic groups regarding the important characteristics of culturally sensitive care. For example, among the Black patients only, having wall posters on diseases that disproportionately affect Blacks was important. Among Hispanic/Latino patients only, having clinic staff treat all patients equally was important. Among White patients only, being given accurate medication cost information was important.

Two implications of these findings are that: (1) culturally diverse patients should be involved in designing health care settings and health care staff training, and (2) health care service surveys should include culture-specific characteristics of high quality health care delivery.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participants in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Minority Health, Community-Based Health Care

    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.

    Cultural Competency/Diversity: Cultural Sensitivity in Primary Health Care

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