An Intervention to Improve Communication Between Physicians and Minority Patients With Hypertension
The objective of the project is a test-of-concept of an intervention to reduce the effects of the perception of discrimination on the care of patients with chronic illness. Perception of discrimination manifests itself as stereotype threat. We hypothesize that stereotype threat impairs communication between minority patients and their physicians because of increased stress and diminished trust, resulting in interactions that are less successful at enhancing patient self-efficacy, in turn resulting in lower rates of adherence with anti-hypertensive medication.
The intervention is a self-affirmation exercise performed prior to a patient-physician visit. A similar intervention has been shown to reduce the racial gap in academic performance in middle school classrooms.
We will explore the mechanistic effects of the intervention by analysis of audiotapes of patient-provider visits following the intervention. We will measure the effect of the intervention on minority hypertensive patients' adherence with antihypertensive medication and blood pressure.
We will enroll 200 African American and Latino patients with hypertension and randomize 100 patients to perform the exercise and 100 patients to perform a null control exercise before the visit. We will assess change in patient's adherence with antihypertensive medications and in blood pressure over the six months following the index visit. In order to better understand the effects of the intervention we will measure subject's mood following the exercise, and self-reported stress levels, trust in the physician, and medication self-efficacy following the visit. We will also assess the quality of the patient-provider interaction from detailed analysis of audiotapes and from patient questionnaires. Following a subsequent patient-physician visit, we will conduct telephone interviews with patients to assess for persistence of any effects of the intervention.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
|Official Title:||An Intervention to Improve Communication Between Physicians and Minority Patients With Hypertension|
- medication adherence [ Time Frame: 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Blood pressure [ Time Frame: 3-6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
|Study Start Date:||January 2010|
|Study Completion Date:||December 2011|
|Primary Completion Date:||December 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
subjects in the intervention arm will complete a self-affirmation exercise prior to a physician visit
Behavioral: Self-affirmation exercise
The intervention exercise asks subjects to reflect on a list of 11 personal values and to circle 2 or 3 items that are most important to them. Subjects are asked then to write a few sentences to describe why they are important.
Active Comparator: Control
subjects in the intervention arm will complete a sham exercise prior to a physician visit
The control exercise is the same as the intervention exercise except that subjects reflect and write about values important to someone else.