African-American parents' trust in their child's primary care provider

Acad Pediatr. Sep-Oct 2012;12(5):399-404. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2012.06.003. Epub 2012 Aug 1.


Objective: Patients' trust in their primary care providers has important implications in terms of health outcomes and, among minority patients, mitigating racial health disparities. This study aims to identify family, provider, and health care setting characteristics that predict African American parents' trust in their child's primary care provider and whether provider partnership-building communication style explains this association.

Methods: Data were collected via retrospective telephone interviews completed 2 weeks after a child's health care visit to 1 of 7 pediatric primary care clinics in Washington, DC (3 community health centers, 3 private practices, and 1 hospital-based clinic). Four hundred twenty-five self-identified African American parents of children 0 to 5 years of age participated. Parents completed several standard survey instruments about trust and provider communication style as well as demographic questionnaires about their family and their child's provider.

Results: A step-wise linear regression revealed significant independent effects of having a previous relationship with the provider and seeing a provider in a community health center (CHC) on higher trust. There was also evidence of mediation by provider communication style, suggesting that parents who take their child to a CHC report greater trust in their child's provider because they have higher perceptions of provider partnership building.

Conclusions: African American parents' trust in their child's provider may be enhanced by continuity of care and greater use of a partnership-building communication style by providers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Data Collection
  • District of Columbia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pediatrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Physicians, Primary Care
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trust / psychology*