Abstract

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.

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