Research Day

Patient-Provider Communication In The Kalamazoo Mom’s Health Experiences Survey Study

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BACKGROUND: Here in Kalamazoo, and across the nation, patient-provider miscommunication and disrespectful treatment is cited as a common experience, especially for disadvantaged patients.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate postpartum patients' communication with their healthcare provider.

METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of the "Mom's Health Experiences Survey Study," an observational mixed-methods study utilizing medical record data and a thirty-minute telephone-interview 2-4 months after delivery. Questions utilized validated measures of medical home, patient-provider communication, empowerment and respect. Pearson Chi Square analysis was completed using SPSS.

RESULTS: Of the 244 women surveyed, 93% reported a medical home, and approximately 50% could name a primary provider. Both were more common for privately-insured participants, who tended to be white women (70%) vs women of color (29%). Only 7% women of color with Medicaid utilized a primary care provider. Compared to women on Medicaid, women with private insurance felt that it was easier to express negative feelings, believed that they were part of the decision-making process, and felt that they worked well with their provider. There were no significant differences between type of insurance and ability to understand medical instructions or sense of respect. However, both were improved among women with an identified primary care provider.

CONCLUSION: Women of color without private insurance are less likely to identify a primary provider in the postpartum setting. The lack of a primary care provider is associated with impaired provider relationships and quality of communication and is an area of potential intervention and improvement.

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