Role of digital health communication, sociodemographic factors, and medical conditions on perceived quality of patient-centered communication

Patient Educ Couns. 2024 Feb:119:108054. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2023.108054. Epub 2023 Nov 4.


Objective: To simultaneously explore associations between digital health, sociodemographic factors, and medical conditions on patient-centered communication (PCC). These are under-explored, yet important knowledge gaps to fill because perceived quality PCC may influence health information seeking behaviors and health outcomes.

Methods: Data from the 2019 Health Information National Trends Survey were analyzed. The primary outcome was PCC, which was the summed score of 7 PCC-related questions. Factors of interest included whether participants used electronic methods to communicate with health professionals, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, feelings about household income, and history of medical conditions. Descriptive statistics and linear regressions were conducted.

Results: In the multivariate linear regression model, people aged 65-74 years compared with 18-34 year-olds, those with some college compared with college graduates, and those who felt they were living comfortably on their household income compared with all others reported higher PCC scores. People with a history of hypertension compared with those without reported higher PCC scores.

Conclusion: Similar to past studies, sociodemographic factors were associated with PCC. A novel finding was that a history hypertension was associated with perceived quality of PCC.

Practice implications: This research may inform methods to enhance communication between patients and clinicians.

Keywords: Electronic communication; Patient-centered communication; Patient-provider communication.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Digital Health*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension*
  • Information Seeking Behavior
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods
  • Sociodemographic Factors