Higher Quality Communication and Relationships Are Associated With Improved Patient Engagement in HIV Care

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Abstract

Patient retention in HIV care may be influenced by patient–provider interactions. In an urban, academic HIV clinic, 1363 patients rated the quality of communication and relationships with their providers on 5 domains. We used linear regressions to investigate associations between these 5 domains and appointment adherence. In multivariate analysis, patients kept more appointments if providers treated them with dignity and respect, listened carefully to them, explained in ways they could understand, and knew them as persons. Being involved in decisions was not significantly associated with appointment adherence. Enhancing providers' skills in effective communication and relationship building may improve patient retention in HIV care.

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