Attention doctors: Want patients to follow your
advice? Treat them with dignity, a Johns Hopkins study has
In a national survey of more than 5,000 Americans,
those who said they were treated with dignity during their
last medical encounter were more likely to report higher
levels of satisfaction with their care, adhere to therapy
and get preventive services.
Hopkins researchers, using data from the Commonwealth
Fund 2001 Health Care Quality Survey, interviewed 5,514
Americans who reported having a medical encounter within
the previous two years and who were white, African
American, Hispanic or Asian. Most respondents were female
(65 percent), had at least some college education (62
percent), had incomes of more than 200 percent of the
poverty level (66 percent) and spoke English as their
primary language (93 percent).
Overall, 76 percent of respondents reported being
treated with a great deal of respect and dignity, and 77
percent reported being involved in decisions to the extent
that they wished.
Being treated with dignity was significantly
associated with adherence to treatment plans for racial and
ethnic minorities, whereas being involved in decisions was
significantly associated with adherence for whites.
These results are published in the July/August issue
of the Annals of Family Medicine.