Provider Satisfaction in Clinical Encounters With Ethnic Immigrant Patients

Kamath, Celia C.; O'Fallon, W. Michael; Offord, Kenneth P.; Yawn, Barbara P.; Bowen, Juan M.
November 2003
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Nov2003, Vol. 78 Issue 11, p1353
Academic Journal
• Objective: To determine whether physicians' satisfaction in clinical encounters with ethnic immigrant patients differs from satisfaction in clinical encounters with white patients in the local community. • Patients and Methods: Postvisit assessments from primary care physicians were collected for matched pairs of ethnic and control patients at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, during a 10-week study (April 2-June 9, 2001). Ethnic patients were defined as first-generation Somalian, Cambodian, and Hispanic immigrants. Control patients were American-born white patients who were seen by the same physician and matched to the ethnic patients in age, sex, and type of visit. T tests and Hotelling T² tests were used to analyze differences in physician responses between groups; regression analysis was used to identify the relationship between physicians' satisfaction and ethnicity in the presence of covariates. • Results: Physicians were considerably less satisfied with ethnic patient visits compared with control patient visits. Larger differences in satisfaction were reported in the areas of patient efforts with disease prevention and management of chronic diseases. Smaller differences in satisfaction were reported for issues related to communication and cultural beliefs and practices. These differences persisted after controlling for patient demographics, physician, and visit characteristics. • Conclusions: Patients' ethnicity affects physician satisfaction with clinical encounters, particularly in the delivery of preventive care and chronic disease management.


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