Introduction: Although both socioeconomic and race- related factors both influence quality of medical encounters, it is not known how these effects differ between racially concordant and discordant medical visits. Current study investigated psychosocial determinants of physician visit satisfaction of Black adults based on racial concordance of the medical encounter.

Materials and Methods: Data came from the Detroit Area Study (DAS), a community survey of adults in Michigan, United States. The current analysis included 336 Black individuals who had visited a White (n = 191) or a Black (n=145) physician in the last year. Outcome was satisfaction with the quality of communication with the doctor. Demographics (age and gender), socioeconomic staus (education and income), psychosocial factors (control beliefs and social support), race related factors (having a close White friend, negative attitudes about Blacks, discrimination), and health status (chronic disease count, self-rated health, and distress) of the patient as well as race of the doctor were measured. We used multi-group structural equation modeling (SEM) for data analysis, where the two groups were racially concordant (those who met a Black physician) and racially discordant (those who met a White physician) visits.  

Results: Satisfaction with physician visit was lower in racially discordant than racially concordant encounters. In racially concordant visits, high education was associated with higher satisfaction, however, racial discrimination was associated with lower satisfaction. In racially discordant visits (i.e. with a White doctor), having a White friend as well as high sense of control were associated with a higher satisfaction, while negative attitudes about Blacks was associated with lower level of satisfaction.

Conclusions: Racially concordant and discordant visits have different satisfaction levels. Racially concordant and discordant visits also have different predictors of communication satisfaction among Black patients. Socioeconomic status as well as racial attitudes and experiences impact quality of communication of the Black patients with their doctors, however, these effects depend on the race of the doctor.


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