Massive effort and resources are expended every year on cultural competence training for physicians. Such training is part of the curriculum of virtually every medical school in America and a focus of continuing medical education nationwide. However, no rigorous study has assessed whether cultural competence training for physicians results in better health outcomes for their patients. This application is in response to PA-08-083. We propose to conduct a randomized clinical trial involving 90 clinicians in Atlanta, Georgia and New York, New York and 1192 of their African American and Puerto Rican pediatric patients with asthma. Both groups of patients have been shown to be among those with the highest prevalence of asthma and problems associated with the condition. Two interventions will be studied. First is a proven program, Physician Asthma Care Education (PACE), for enhancing physicians'clinical therapeutics, communication, and counseling skills shown to produce positive outcomes for the general population of children with asthma. The second is a version of the program designed to enhance the cultural competence of the clinician, specifically, in working with the target patient population (PACE PLUS). The proposed study will answer two questions: 1) Does cultural competence training (PACE PLUS) produce better outcomes for minority patients, specifically African American and Puerto Rican children and their parents than a general communication training program (PACE)? 2) Compared to a control group, is the PACE program, already shown to be effective with the general population of patients, effective when used with minority patients, specifically African American and Puerto Rican children and their parents. The study hypothesis is that there will be positive outcomes for patients of physicians in both interventions but better outcomes for those patients whose doctors participate in the cultural competence training (PACE PLUS). That is: a) PACE PLUS compared to PACE will produce reductions in health care use, improved symptoms, greater parent satisfaction with care, enhanced quality of life, higher levels of physician confidence in working cross culturally, increased use of NAEPP guidelines by physicians. b) PACE Compared to a control group will produce better outcomes on these six dimensions. Data will be collected through survey of physicians and telephone interviews with the child's parent/caretaker. Medical records of physicians will be reviewed to verify parent's reports of health care use.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
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Behavioral Medicine, Interventions and Outcomes Study Section (BMIO)
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Taggart, Virginia
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Schools of Public Health
Ann Arbor
United States
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Patel, Minal R; Thomas, Lara J; Hafeez, Kausar et al. (2014) Study protocol for improving asthma outcomes through cross-cultural communication training for physicians: a randomized trial of physician training. BMC Med Educ 14:118
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