Patient–physician race/ethnicity and language concordance may improve medication adherence and reduce disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) by fostering trust and improved patient–physician communication.
To examine the association of patient race/ethnicity and language and patient–physician race/ethnicity and language concordance on medication adherence rates for a large cohort of diabetes patients in an integrated delivery system.
We studied 131,277 adult diabetes patients in Kaiser Permanente Northern California in 2005. Probit models assessed the effect of patient and physician race/ethnicity and language on adherence to CVD medications, after controlling for patient and physician characteristics.
Ten percent of African American, 11 % of Hispanic, 63% of Asian, and 47% of white patients had same race/ethnicity physicians. 24% of Spanish-speaking patients were linguistically concordant with their physicians. African American (46%), Hispanic (49%) and Asian (52%) patients were significantly less likely than white patients (58%) to be in good adherence to all of their CVD medications (p < 0.001). Spanish-speaking patients were less likely than English speaking patients to be in good adherence (51% versus 57%, p < 0.001). Race concordance for African American patients was associated with adherence to all their CVD medications (53% vs. 50%, p < 0.05). Language concordance was associated with medication adherence for Spanish-speaking patients (51% vs. 45%, p < 0.05).
Increasing opportunities for patient–physician race/ethnicity and language concordance may improve medication adherence for African American and Spanish-speaking patients, though a similar effect was not observed for Asian patients or English-proficient Hispanic patients.
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- Adherence to Cardiovascular Disease Medications: Does Patient-Provider Race/Ethnicity and Language Concordance Matter?
MPP Ana H. Traylor
PhD Julie A. Schmittdiel
BA Connie S. Uratsu
MD, MSPH Carol M. Mangione
MD, MS Usha Subramanian
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