Patient-reported communication quality and perceived discrimination in maternity care

Laura Attanasio, Katy B. Kozhimannil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background: High-quality communication and a positive patientprovider relationship are aspects of patient-centered care, a crucial component of quality. We assessed racial/ethnic disparities in patientreported communication problems and perceived discrimination in maternity care among women nationally and measured racial/ethnic variation in the correlates of these outcomes. Methods: Data for this analysis came from the Listening to Mothers III survey, a national sample of women who gave birth to a singleton baby in a US hospital in 2011-2012. Outcomes were reluctance to ask questions and barriers to open discussion in prenatal care, and perceived discrimination during the birth hospitalization, assessed using multinomial and logistic regression. We also estimated models stratified by race/ethnicity. Results: Over 40% of women reported communication problems in prenatal care, and 24% perceived discrimination during their hospitalization for birth. Having hypertension or diabetes was associated with higher levels of reluctance to ask questions and higher odds of reporting each type of perceived discrimination. Black and Hispanic (vs. white) women had higher odds of perceived discrimination due to race/ethnicity. Higher education was associated with more reported communication problems among black women only. Although having diabetes was associated with perceptions of discrimination among all women, associations were stronger for black women. Conclusions: Race/ethnicity was associated with perceived racial discrimination, but diabetes and hypertension were consistent predictors of communication problems and perceptions of discrimination. Efforts to improve communication and reduce perceived discrimination are an important area of focus for improving patientcentered care in maternity services. Key Words: patient-centered care, disparities,

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-871
Number of pages9
JournalMedical care
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Disparities
  • Maternity care
  • Patient-centered care

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