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Quality of Care

Communication, Respect And Trust In Sickle Cell Disease

Respect & Trust


  • PI:                Mary Catherine Beach, MD, MPH
  • Funder:       National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • Status:         Ongoing

In part due to sickle cell disease (SCD) patients’ need for narcotics during painful crisis, and providers’ reluctance to provide them, patients with SCD have described adversarial relationships, lacking in respect and trust, with health professionals. When respect and trust occur in healthcare, patients experience more positive outcomes across many disease conditions. Because patients with SCD are typically African American, and trust and respect have been reported less often in interactions with African-American patients, the adversarial relationship between SCD patients and providers may be magnified. 

Our overall goals are to provide a better understanding of the complex behavioral and attitudinal forces present in interactions between SCD patients and their providers, to measure and describe the quality of healthcare processes, and to explore whether SCD patients who experience respectful treatment have greater trust, more adherence, and better health outcomes than patients who do not experience respect.