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Session 4, Abstract 19

RAISING THE QUESTION: PREPARING LOW-INCOME TYPE 2 DIABETES PATIENTS WITH A LIST OF QUESTIONS TO FACILITATE PATIENT-PROVIDER DISCUSSION OF HEALTH TOPICS

Iridian Duran, Adriana Orellana, Brett Cervantes, George Heredia*, Karina Galvan, Karla Garcia, Herlinda Guzman*, (John Billimek) University of California, Irvine, Health Policy Research Institute, 100 Theory, Suite 100 Irvine, CA 92617.

Type 2 diabetes negatively impacts the underserved, low-income, Hispanic community, giving rise to inadequate guidance for the proper plan of care due to ineffective communication. The disconnect between patients and their physicians may lead to medication non-adherence and poor health outcomes, such as high HbA1C levels, high blood pressure and cholesterol. A proposed solution to improve physician-patient communication is to prepare patients with a set of questions to ask their physicians during their visit. For this study, community health workers assisted patients in determining three questions to write down and bring to their medical visit. The visits were audio recorded and analyzed using a validated coding method. The recordings were then transcribed and coded by selected audio-coders. Data from the audio recordings were analyzed and compared to determine if the patients asked their questions and if the physician answered them. The data indicated that in 49.1% of visits, physicians made reference to or read questions from the patient's question list. A total of 64.9% (37 of 57) of patients asked all of the questions from their list, and all questions asked by the patient were answered by the physician in 82.5% of (47 of 57) visits. The results from this study suggest that preparing lists of questions prior to a doctor visit may be helpful to promote discussion of important health topics. However, many questions from the lists are never discussed with the doctor. Further research must be conducted to identify strategies to improve communication about these issues.