Examining patient-centered communication and access for veterans with disabilities.

Research paper by Diane L DL Smith

Indexed on: 01 Apr '15Published on: 01 Apr '15Published in: Military medicine


To determine if there are significant differences in patient-centered communication and access to care experienced by veterans with disabilities compared to veterans without disabilities and nonveterans with disabilities and what variables contribute to the likelihood of poor patient-centered communication and access to care.χ(2) analyses were used to determine differences in patient-centered communication and access to care. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify variables contributing to poor patient-centered care.Veterans with disabilities were significantly less likely to say that a physician listened to their concerns, explained care so they understood, treated them with respect, spent enough time with them, and were less likely to get necessary care or experience a delay in getting care than veterans without disabilities. No significant differences were found when comparing patient-centered communication between veterans and nonveterans with disabilities. Veteran status protects against poor patient-centered care, whereas disability status increases the likelihood of poor patient-centered care.Health care providers should consider the unique strengths and limitations presented by veterans with disabilities in their patient-centered communication. Future research in partnership with veterans with and without disabilities is needed to determine effective strategies to improve patient-centered communication and health care access.