Decision-making role preferences among patients with HIV: Associations with patient and provider characteristics and communication behaviors

Rashmi Kumar, P. Todd Korthuis, Somnath Saha, Geetanjali Chander, Victoria Sharp, Jonathon Cohn, Richard Moore, Mary Catherine Beach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: A preference for shared decision-making among patients with HIV has been associated with better health outcomes. One possible explanation for this association is that patients who prefer a more active role in decision-making are more engaged in the communication process during encounters with their providers. Little is known, however, about patient and provider characteristics or communication behaviors associated with patient decision-making preferences in HIV settings. OBJECTIVE: We examined patient and provider characteristics and patient-provider communication behaviors associated with the decision-making role preferences of patients with HIV. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of patient and provider questionnaires and audio recorded clinical encounters from four sites. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 45 providers and 434 of their patients with HIV. MEASURES: Patients were asked how they prefer to be involved in the decision-making process (doctor makes all/most decisions, patients and doctors share decisions, or patients make decisions alone). Measures of provider and patient communication behaviors were coded from audio recordings using the Roter Interaction Analysis System. MAIN Results: Overall, 72% of patients preferred to share decisions with their provider, 23% wanted their provider to make decisions, and 5% wanted to make decisions themselves. Compared to patients who preferred to share decisions with their provider, patients who preferred their provider make decisions were less likely to be above the age of 60 (ARR 0.09, 95% CI 0.01- 0.89) and perceive high quality provider communication about decision-making (ARR 0.41, 95% CI 0.23-0.73), and more likely to have depressive symptoms (ARR 1.92, 95% CI 1.07-3.44). There was no significant association between patient preferences and measures of provider or patient communication behavior. CONCLUSION: Observed measures of patient and provider communication behavior were similar across all patient decision-making role preferences, indicating that it may be difficult for providers to determine these preferences based solely on communication behavior. Engaging patients in open discussion about decisionmaking preferences may be a more effective approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-523
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Communication
  • Decision-making preferences
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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