Investigating acculturation orientations of patients with an immigration background and doctors in Canada: implications for medical advice adherence

Qual Life Res. 2017 May;26(5):1223-1232. doi: 10.1007/s11136-016-1438-8. Epub 2016 Oct 19.


Background: Increased immigration requires successful interaction of different cultures in various life domains, such as health. This study investigates acculturation orientation (AO) of immigrant patients and doctors native to the country, as a potential factor related to perceived medical advice adherence.

Data and methods: N = 171 immigrant patients (M = 54.38 years, SD = 17.94, range = 23-96, 74.3 % female) and their N = 12 doctors (M = 38.88 years, SD = 13.42, range = 27-66, 83 % female) from a hospital in Montreal, Canada, participated in a paper-based survey to assess AOs, patients' perceived expectations of their doctor (regarding adopting the new culture or keeping their previous culture), doctors' actual expectations, perceived quality of care and perceived adherence.

Results: AO of patients significantly related to perceived adherence, via a path model involving perceptions of doctors' expectations and perceived quality of care. Integration was positively related to perceived adherence, while Marginalization was negatively related to it. Doctors' AOs were not significant.

Conclusion: Patient perceptions seem to be a significant factor to be considered when striving to improve immigrant medical advice adherence.

Keywords: Acculturation orientation; Culture and health; Health psychology; Immigrant health; Quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Emigration and Immigration / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations / ethics*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires