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Patient-centeredness and empathy in a bilingual interprofessional primary care teaching clinic: a pilot study

Authors Mayer S, Peterfy E, Crossman S, Burroughs Phipps L, Vanderbilt A

Received 5 March 2016

Accepted for publication 3 June 2016

Published 23 August 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 395—400


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Sallie D Mayer,1 Erika Peterfy,2 Steven H Crossman,3 Lisa Burroughs Phipps,4 Allison A Vanderbilt5

1Bon Secours Virginia Health System, Bon Secours Medical Group, Midlothian, VA, 2School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University, Charlotte, NC, 3Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, College of Medicine, 4Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science, School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 5Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA

Abstract: Utilizing the Consultation and Relational Empathy survey, this project examined the perceptions of care team empathy and patient-centeredness between English- and Spanish-speaking patients. From fall through spring semesters, patient surveys from a primary care, interprofessional student-led teaching clinic were collected and analyzed. Overall, mean scores for both English- and Spanish-speaking patients were above the reported normative average for general practitioners. While, overall, patients expressed satisfaction with the student-led teaching clinic in terms of empathy and patient-centeredness, English-speaking patients had higher median scores than Spanish-speaking patients. Analyzed individually, questions related to communication and provider attitudes were scored lower by Spanish-speaking patients. These results demonstrate that student-led clinics can deliver patient-centered care and highlight the continuing need to investigate and address disparities between English- and Spanish-speaking patients with regard to feelings of empathy and patient-centeredness.

Keywords: patient-centeredness, interprofessional care, uninsured patients, free clinics, student teams

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