Minority Health Archive

What Latina Patients Don’t Tell Their Doctors: A Qualitative Study

Julliard, Kell and Vivar, Josefi na and Delgado, Carlos and Cruz, Eugenio and Kabak, Jennifer and Sabers, Heidi (2008) What Latina Patients Don’t Tell Their Doctors: A Qualitative Study. ANNALS OF FAMILY MEDICINE, 6 (6). pp. 543-549.

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PURPOSE The treatment a patient receives is greatly affected by what he or she chooses to disclose to a physician. This qualitative study investigated such factors as culture and background that contribute to Latina patients’ nondisclosure of medical information. METHODS Participants were 28 Latina women living in Brooklyn. In-depth interviews in English or Spanish were conducted and documented by extensive notes. We used a grounded theory approach to fi nd emerging themes, which were coded using a continuous iterative process. RESULTS Six primary themes emerged: the physician-patient relationship, language, physician sex and age, time constraints, sensitive health issues, and culture and birthplace. Such qualities as compassion, caring, human interest, and kindness were important to many Latinas, who did not feel safe sharing information if these qualities were absent. Language barriers caused problems with physician-patient interaction, which were complicated by the presence of a translator. Physicians being male or younger could make disclosure diffi cult, especially around issues of sexuality and genital examination. Time constraints and cultural differences sometimes resulted in physicians’ lack of awareness of sensitive areas that patients did not wish to discuss, such as sexuality, family planning, domestic abuse, and use of recreational drugs. Birthplace (foreign born vs US born) played a role in how the women perceived barriers to disclosure. CONCLUSIONS Staff training in techniques for building rapport can foster better communication, increase empathy and compassion, and lead to the establishment of trusting relationships in which disclosure is more likely.

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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Access to full text is subject to the publisher's access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Latina patients; nondisclosure of medical information; Latina women; communication; disclosure
Subjects: Research
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Depositing User: Users 141 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2008
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2011 12:53
Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/1136

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