The association of visit length and measures of patient-centered communication in HIV care: A mixed methods study

Michael Barton Laws, Lauren Epstein, Yoojin Lee, William Rogers, Mary Catherine Beach, Ira B. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: Patient centered clinical communication may be associated with longer encounters. Methods: We used the General Medical Interaction Analysis System (GMIAS) to code transcripts of routine outpatient visits in HIV care, and create 5 measures of patient-centeredness. We defined visit length as number of utterances. To better understand properties of encounters reflected in these measures, we conducted a qualitative analysis of the 15 longest and 15 shortest visits. Results: All 5 measures were significantly associated with visit length (p< 0.05, rank order correlations 0.21-0.44). In multivariate regressions, association of patient centeredness with visit length was attenuated for 4 measures, and increased for 1; two were no longer statistically significant (p> 0.05). Black and Hispanic race were associated with shorter visits compared with White race. Some of the longest visits featured content that could be considered extraneous to appropriate care. Conclusion: Patient centeredness is weakly related to visit length, but may reflect inefficient use of time in long encounters. Practice implications: Efforts to make visits more patient centered should focus on improving dialogue quality and efficient use of time, not on making visits longer. Shorter visits for Black and Hispanic patients could contribute to health disparities related to race and ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e183-e188
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Coding communication
  • HIV care
  • Patient-centeredness
  • Visit length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'The association of visit length and measures of patient-centered communication in HIV care: A mixed methods study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this