Asian Americans' reports of their health care experiences. Results of a national survey

J Gen Intern Med. 2004 Feb;19(2):111-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.30143.x.


Objective: To examine how Asian race/ethnicity affects patients' health care experiences and satisfaction with care.

Design: Telephone interview using random-digit dialing, stratified to over-sample adults living in areas with disproportionately large numbers of minorities.

Participants and setting: White (N = 3,205) and Asian-American (N = 521) respondents, weighted to represent all such adults living in the continental U.S. in telephone households.

Measurements: Reports of health care experiences and trust in the doctor at the last visit, and overall satisfaction with care and desire to change doctors in the last 2 years.

Main results: Asian Americans were less likely than whites to report that their doctors ever talked to them about lifestyle or mental health issues (P < or =.01). They were more likely to report that their regular doctors did not understand their background and values (P < or =.01). When asked about the last visit, they were more likely to report that their doctors did not listen, spend as much time, or involve them in decisions about care as much as they wanted (all P < or =.0001). In multivariable analyses, Asian Americans were less likely than whites to report that they were very satisfied with care (odds ratio [OR], 0.64, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42 to 0.99). However, they were not significantly less likely than whites to trust their doctors (OR, 0.79, 95% CI, 0.52 to 1.20), or to change doctors (OR, 0.93, 95% CI, 0.56 to 1.56).

Conclusions: In a national survey, Asian Americans were less likely to receive counseling and less likely to report positive interactions with their doctors than white respondents. More research is needed to determine the reasons for these differences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction / ethnology*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care*