Latinx Patients' Perceptions of Culturally Sensitive Health Care and their Association with Patient Satisfaction, Patient-Provider Communication, and Therapeutic Alliance

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2022 Apr;9(2):620-629. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-00994-w. Epub 2021 Mar 15.


Latinx in the USA experience disparities in morbidity and mortality when compared to their non-Hispanic White counterparts. Patient-centered culturally sensitive health care (PC-CSHC) has been deemed a best practice approach to alleviate and eliminate these disparities. However, literature on how Latinx patients perceive their care and what indicators of PC-CSHC may be most related to treatment outcomes is limited. This study collected data from 81 adult Latinx participants who had been admitted to an inpatient care unit to understand the following: (a) their perception of their providers' PC-CSHC in three different areas: Competence/Confidence, Sensitivity/Interpersonal, and Respect/Communication; (b) whether there are differences between English- and Spanish-speaking Latinx patients in their perception of their providers' PC-CSHC; and (c) whether these PC-CSHC indicators were associated to patient satisfaction, patient-provider communication, and therapeutic alliance. Participants were mostly male, older than 55 years of age, and working or lower class, with English as their primary language. Results showed that patients rated their providers' Competence (M = 3.57, SD = .46) higher than both Sensitivity, t(68) = .04, p = .04, (M = 3.49, SD =.54), and Respect, t(53) = 2.765, p = .008, (M = 3.38, SD = .57). English-speaking Latinx were overall less satisfied with their providers than Spanish-speaking Latinx, in particular in their communication. Finally, higher provider cultural sensitivity appears to be a predictor of patient satisfaction, patient-provider communication, and working alliance. Implications for refining provider trainings to treat this vulnerable and understudied (i.e., Latinx) population are discussed.

Keywords: Culturally competent care; Culturally sensitive care; Latinx health; Latinx health disparities; Patient-centered care; Provider bias.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication
  • Culturally Competent Care*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Therapeutic Alliance*