Doctor-Patient Talk May Help Blacks With Hypertension

(HealthDay News) —
Black patients with high blood pressure often seem to struggle to communicate
with their doctors, potentially leading to worse disease outcomes, a North
Carolina study suggests.

“It seems that in general, blacks talk less overall to their physicians
than white patients,” study author Dr. Crystal Wiley Cene, an assistant
professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel
Hill, said in a university news release. “As a result, communication about
specific topics occurs less often.”

Cene noted that there may be several reasons for the poor communication. Black
patients might not trust their physicians or somehow feel disconnected from
them. Physicians, perhaps reacting to their quiet patients, may feel less
inclined to talk to them.

In the study, researchers analyzed data from 226 high blood pressure patients
and 39 physicians at 15 primary-care practices in Baltimore. Specifically, they
listened to audio recordings of patients’ visits to their doctors. The study
authors noted the length of the visits, the number of medically focused
statements made and the overall banter between doctors and patients.  Read more…

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