Race, relationships, and trust in providers among black patients with HIV/AIDS

Tara R. Earl, Somnath Saha, Margaret Lombe, P. Todd Korthuis, Victoria Sharp, Johnathan Cohn, Richard Moore, Mary Catherine Beach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


A trustful patient-provider relationship is a strong predictor of positive outcomes, including treatment adherence and viral suppression, among patients with HIV/AIDS. Understanding the factors that inform this relationship is especially relevant for black patients, who bear a disproportionate burden of HIV morbidity and mortality and may face challenges associated with seeing providers of a racial and ethnic background that is different from their own. Using data collected through the Enhancing Communication and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) study, the authors examined patient and provider characteristics that may influence black patients' trust in their provider. ECHO data were collected from four ambulatory care sites in Baltimore, Detroit, New York, and Portland, Oregon (N = 435). Regression analysis results indicate that trust in health care institutions and cultural similarity between the patient and the provider are strongly associated with patients' trust in their provider. Lower perceived social status, being currently employed, and having an older provider were also related to greater patient-provider trust. These findings can inform interventions to improve trust and reduce disparities in HIV care and outcomes that stem from mistrust among black patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Work Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • black patients
  • culture
  • provider-patient relations
  • trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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