208840 Patient perceptions of physician communication among African Americans at risk for stroke

Monday, November 9, 2009

Carolyn A. Stroman, PhD , Communication and Culture, Howard University, Washington, DC
Joan Payne, PhD , School of Communications, Howard University, District of Columbia, DC
Roberta Hollander, PhD , School of Health and Human Performance, Howard University, District of Columbia, DC
Elizabeth M. Bertera, PhD , School of Social Work, Howard University, District of Columbia, DC
This project examined patient perceptions of physician communication. Research questions investigated how African-American patients perceive their physician's interpersonal communication and whether the Communication Assessment Tool (CAT: Makoul, Krupat and Chang, 2007) is a valid instrument for use with this population. The CAT measures physicians' interpersonal and communication skills. It is administered to patients after inpatient or outpatient medical encounters and relies on participant's self-assessment using 15 items on a five-point scale. In addition to the CAT (administered post-encounter), the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), a Stroke Risk Assessment and the 13-item Short Health Style were administered to patients prior to their physician encounters.

Study participants included five (5) family practice physician participants and 50 African American male and female patient participants aged 45 and above who were recommended by the participating physicians. Physician participants were administered the CAT only; patient participants were administered all four instruments. Preliminary data analyses indicate that there are several, significant areas of difference between physician perceptions of their communication effectiveness and that of their patients. These differences have implications for physician training, and recommendations for such training will be a part of this presentation. Findings also have implications for educating patients about communicating with health care providers; this will also be discussed. Finally, data analyses indicate a trend toward the CAT as a valid instrument for use with African Americans who are at risk for stroke.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe issues of patient-physician communication specifically with respect to stroke 2. Discuss CAT as a valid instrument to examine patient-provider communication for African Americans at risk for stroke

Keywords: African American, Strokes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted research and published in this area of communication about stroke among African Americans.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.