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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Annette La Greca - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Alan Delamater - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Alexandra Quittner - Committee Member


Adult literature has shown that quality of patient-physician relationships is associated with better patient adherence to treatment recommendations across chronic illnesses. However, few studies have examined this in youth with type 1 diabetes, particularly those of Hispanic origin. Evidence indicates that minority youth with type 1 diabetes are at higher risk for poorer metabolic control and experience less satisfaction in patient-provider relationships compared to their white, non-Hispanic counterparts. This study examined the association between satisfaction with the physician-patient relationship and regimen adherence and glycemic control in 120 Hispanic youth with type 1 diabetes. Most caregivers who participated were mothers (82.5%) and youths were primarily female (51.7%). Children ranged in age from 10 to 17 (M age = 13.63 ± 2.18 years). Mean duration of diabetes was 6.26 ± 3.72 years. Most caregivers were married (64.7%). Mothers? highest level of education included 35.3% who had a high school education or less, 34.5% who had some college, and 30.2% who completed college. Mean HbA1c level on recruitment date was 7.68 ± 3.56. Adolescents and their parents independently completed an adapted version of the Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale (MISS-21) (Meakin & Weinman, 2002), which assessed their personal satisfaction with their endocrinologist?s consultation, and the Diabetes Self Management Profile (DSMP) (Harris et al., 2000), which measures adherence over the past 3 months across multiple self-care domains. Spanish translations of both forms were used when appropriate in obtaining caregiver report. Also, physicians rated their patients? regimen adherence using an average of eight items concerning patient adherence. Youth and parents shared similar perceptions concerning youth regimen adherence, as measured by the DSMP (r=.68, p<.001). Youth and parent report of their relationship with their endocrinologist was modestly correlated (r=.27, p<.01). Due to high concordance between parent and child adherence scores, further analyses used a combined DSMP score, while separate scores were used for parent and child reports of satisfaction. Age, mother?s education, and single parent status were used as control variables and were correlated with parent and child satisfaction and a combined DSMP score. Including control variables, parent and child satisfaction did not significantly predict glycemic control (R2∆=.02, p<.10). Parent and child satisfaction also did not significantly predict adherence (R2∆=.02, p=.06). Due to these unexpected findings, further exploratory analyses were conducted. Parent and child satisfaction did not predict physician report of adherence. Interestingly, parent and child report of satisfaction with communication comfort with the physician predicted physician report of adherence (R2∆=.05, p<.01). More specifically, child report of communication comfort predicted physician report of adherence (ß=.26, p<.01), while parent report did not. No subscales of the satisfaction measure (MISS) or the adherence measure (DSMP) predicted glycemic control. Findings suggested that more positive patient-physician relationships are associated with better physician-reported regimen adherence, but not with family report of adherence. However, it is unclear whether better patient-physician relationships enhance adherence or whether more adherent patients are likely to be satisfied with their provider. Further studies are needed to prospectively examine the directionality of these relationships, as well as examine methods to improve the quality of physician-patient relationships in order to increase positive health outcomes.


Patient-physician Relationship; Patient-provider Relationship