Poor patient–provider interactions may play a role in explaining racial disparities in the quality and outcomes of HIV care in the United States. We analyzed 354 patient–provider encounters coded with the Roter Interaction Analysis System across four HIV care sites in the United States to explore possible racial differences in patient–provider communication. Providers were more verbally dominant in conversations with black as compared to white patients. This was largely due to black patients’ talking less than white patients. There was no association between race and other measures of communication. Black and white patients rated their providers’ communication similarly. Efforts to more effectively engage patients in the medical dialogue may lead to improved patient–provider relationships, self-management, and outcomes among black people living with HIV/AIDS.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Patient–physician relations, Patient–physician communication, Health disparities