Date of Original Version




Abstract or Description

The purpose of this study was to assess race differences (African Americans and Caucasians) in aspects of the patient-physician relationship, and then determine how the patientphysician relationship influences patient satisfaction, diabetes self-care behaviors and diabetes knowledge among adults with diabetes. Participants consisted of 99 adults with diabetes who were currently receiving treatment for their diabetes. Participants were asked to complete a 15- minute questionnaire that assessed aspects of the patient-physician relationship, including patient’s expectations of physician, actual patient-physician interactions, patient’s desire for involvement in the health care process, and collaboration between the patient and physician regarding the patient’s treatment plan. We expected lower expectation scores and less involvement in the health care process for African Americans than for Caucasians. We predicted that higher expectation scores would be associated with lower levels of patient satisfaction with their physician. We also predicted that a greater desire for involvement and a more collaborative health care situation would be correlated with greater diabetes knowledge and better self-care behaviors. Results indicate few race differences in the patient-physician relationship. Patient expectation was not significantly associated with patient satisfaction but the discrepancy between expectations and actual receipt was associated with satisfaction. There were trends indicating that patient desire for involvement and collaborative care were associated with better self-care behaviors. Only one aspect of desire for involvement was related to diabetes knowledge. Although few race differences in the patient-physician relationship appeared, aspects of that relationship were associated with patient satisfaction and diabetes management and those relations may vary by race.


Advisor: Vicki Helgeson

Department of Psychology

Embargo Date