The long-term objective of this research is to understand how differences in patient-provider communication affect disparities in the care received by persons with HIV. This knowledge will facilitate the development of evidence based interventions, with both patient and providers, to reduce or eliminate these disparities. A variety of types of disparities in HIV care between whites and non-whites have been demonstrated, including what may be the most consequential for patients, disparities in rates of initiation of and adhering to HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART). These disparities have many root causes, including care system access, differences in preferences or beliefs about the value of treatments, and bias against stigmatized groups such as injection drug users. An important source of these disparities may be differences in the nature and quality of patient-provider communication, a topic which has received little attention from HIV researchers. To fill this gap, we developed and validated a new method to code and analysis audiotapes of patient-provider interactions in HIV care, the General Medical Interaction Analysis System (GMIAS). A unique feature of this coding system is that it can characterize utterances in patient-provider dialog that are specifically related to ART adherence. We propose to use GMIAS to analyze transcripts of 437 patient-provider visits for persons with HIV collected as part of an existing study from 45 physicians practicing at 4 different care sites in Baltimore, New York, Detroit, and Portland. Patients were sampled from participating physicians'practice such that approximately half were white and half were non-white, which facilitates within-physician comparisons of racial/ethnic differences. Using the GMIAS coding system, we propose the following specific aims: 1) Compare general patterns of patient-provider communication between white, black, and Hispanic patients, 2) Compare ARV related adherence dialog between white, black, and Hispanic patients, and 3) Determine, using variance components analysis, how variance in patient-centeredness is partitioned between patients and providers. In addition, we will conduct exploratory analyses to determine whether 1-year clinical outcomes (changes in serum HIV viral RNA and CD4 counts) differ between blacks, Hispanics, and whites, and the extent to which differences in overall and adherence specific dialog quality explain differences in these outcomes. The relevance of this research to public health is that efforts to eliminate disparities in care related to race/ethnicity will require better data about the sources of those disparities. The results of this study will help us better understand how patient-provider dialog contributes to these disparities in HIV care, and provide a much needed evidence base for interventions with medical students, post-graduate trainees, practicing physicians, other health professionals, and patients to eliminate these disparities.

Public Health Relevance

While important disparities between the care received by whites and non-whites with HIV infection have been documented, including differences in rates of receipt of antiretroviral therapy, the source of these disparities is poorly understood. This project will use a new method to analyze audiotapes of routine office visits to understand how patient-provider dialogue differs by race and ethnicity. Findings from this work will guide the development of interventions to reduce disparities in HIV care.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS Study Section (BSCH)
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Stirratt, Michael J
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Tufts University
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Mayfield, Elijah; Laws, M Barton; Wilson, Ira B et al. (2014) Automating annotation of information-giving for analysis of clinical conversation. J Am Med Inform Assoc 21:e122-8
Wallace, Byron C; Laws, M Barton; Small, Kevin et al. (2014) Automatically annotating topics in transcripts of patient-provider interactions via machine learning. Med Decis Making 34:503-12
Laws, M Barton; Lee, Yoojin; Rogers, William H et al. (2014) Provider-patient communication about adherence to anti-retroviral regimens differs by patient race and ethnicity. AIDS Behav 18:1279-87
Laws, M Barton; Beach, Mary Catherine; Lee, Yoojin et al. (2013) Provider-patient adherence dialogue in HIV care: results of a multisite study. AIDS Behav 17:148-59
Laws, M Barton; Taubin, Tatiana; Bezreh, Tanya et al. (2013) Problems and processes in medical encounters: the cases method of dialogue analysis. Patient Educ Couns 91:192-9
Wilson, Ira B; Bangsberg, David R; Shen, Jie et al. (2013) Heterogeneity among studies in rates of decline of antiretroviral therapy adherence over time: results from the multisite adherence collaboration on HIV 14 study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 64:448-54
Laws, M Barton; Rose, Gary S; Bezreh, Tanya et al. (2012) Treatment acceptance and adherence in HIV disease: patient identity and the perceived impact of physician-patient communication. Patient Prefer Adherence 6:893-903
Simoni, Jane M; Huh, David; Wilson, Ira B et al. (2012) Racial/Ethnic disparities in ART adherence in the United States: findings from the MACH14 study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 60:466-72
Bezreh, Tanya; Laws, M Barton; Taubin, Tatiana et al. (2012) Challenges to physician-patient communication about medication use: a window into the skeptical patient's world. Patient Prefer Adherence 6:11-8
Laws, Michael Barton; Epstein, Lauren; Lee, Yoojin et al. (2011) The association of visit length and measures of patient-centered communication in HIV care: a mixed methods study. Patient Educ Couns 85:e183-8

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