Cover: Race/ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, and Satisfaction with Health Care

Race/ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, and Satisfaction with Health Care

Published in: American Journal of Medical Quality, v. 20, no. 4, July/Aug. 2005, p. 195-203

Posted on on January 01, 2005

by Mark G. Haviland, Leo S. Morales, Thomas H. Dial, Harold Alan Pincus

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status on consumer health care satisfaction ratings. The authors analyzed national data from the 2001 National Research Corporation Healthcare Market Guide Survey (N = 99 102). Four global and 3 composite ratings were examined. In general, satisfaction ratings were high across all global and composite measures; however, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics gave lower ratings than did whites, and African Americans gave a mix of higher and lower ratings (vs whites). Among the lowest ratings were those given by American Indians/Alaska Natives living in poverty. Race/ethnicity effects were independent of education and income. These findings are consistent with reports of continuing racial/ethnic disparities in both coverage and care. Programs to improve quality of care must specifically address these well-documented, severe, and persistent disparities.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.