Intercultural effectiveness in GPs' communication and clinical assessment: An experimental study

Robin Vandecasteele*, Stijn Schelfhout, Fanny D'hondt, Stéphanie De Maesschalck, Eva Derous, Sara Willems

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective: This study aimed to investigate potential disparities in general practitioners’ overall communication and clinical assessments based on patient ethnicity, while examining the influence of intercultural effectiveness. Methods: Employing a 2 × 2 experimental study design, online video recorded consultations with simulated patients were conducted and analyzed using OSCEs. Each GP (N = 100) completed a consultation with both an ethnic majority and an ethnic minority patient. Additionally, a follow-up survey was administered to gather supplementary data. Paired sample t-tests explored ethnic disparities, correlation and regression analyses determined associations with intercultural attitudes, traits and capabilities. Results: No statistically significant differences in GPs’ communication or clinical assessment were found based on patients’ ethnic background. Positive associations were observed between all aspects of intercultural effectiveness and GPs’ consultation behavior. Intercultural traits emerged as a strong and robust predictor of clinical assessment of ethnic minority patients. Conclusion: Intercultural traits, such as ethnocultural empathy, may play a critical role in GPs' clinical assessment skills during intercultural consultations. Practice implications: Findings provide valuable insights into the determinants of intercultural effectiveness in healthcare, fostering promising targets for interventions and training programs aiming to ensure higher-quality and more equitable care delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108138
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

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