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Differences Between Current and Desired Physician Hypertension Management Roles Among Chinese American Seniors: a Qualitative Study.

Chang E, Lin V, Goh R, Chan C, Ong MK, Hui E, Sarkisian C. Differences Between Current and Desired Physician Hypertension Management Roles Among Chinese American Seniors: a Qualitative Study. Journal of general internal medicine. 2020 Dec 1; 35(12):3471-3477.

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BACKGROUND: Though patient-physician racial concordance correlates with better perceived shared decision-making, Chinese immigrants report low quality of care and have undertreated hypertension regardless of concordance. OBJECTIVE: To inform efforts to change physician behavior and improve quality of hypertension care, we used role theory to explore differences between Chinese American seniors'' descriptions of current and desired physician roles in hypertension management. DESIGN: Qualitative interviews. PARTICIPANTS: Immigrant Chinese Americans with hypertension age = 65 years in Los Angeles County. APPROACH: We recruited 15 participants from a senior wellness center for language-matched interviews and blood pressure (BP) checks. Participants described current and desired physician activities for hypertension management. Bilingual research assistants translated audio recordings. Using thematic analysis, a three-member team independently reviewed and coded transcripts to identify themes regarding physician roles in hypertension management; discrepancies were discussed to achieve consensus. Themes were checked for validity in four subsequent focus groups. RESULTS: We completed interviews in 2014. Interviewees'' mean age was 70.6 years; seven were female and five had a systolic BP over 150 mmHg. All interviewees reported having race- and language-concordant primary care providers, were prescribed at least one BP medication, and had Medicare. Three major themes encompassed current and desired physician roles in hypertension management: technical expert, empathetic health steward, and health educator. Descriptions of current and desired physician roles differed for all themes, most prominently for empathetic health steward and health educator. Participants desired but did not consistently experience interpersonal engagement or receive hypertension lifestyle counseling, citing visit time pressures. CONCLUSIONS: Among these Chinese American seniors, there remains a gap between current and desired physician roles in hypertension management, particularly interpersonal behaviors and education. Seniors deprioritized these roles in response to perceived physician role strain. Increased attention to the impact of perceived physician role strain might improve shared decision-making and hypertension management.

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