Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Candi Lacey

Committee Member

Charlene Desir


Blacks, diabetes, doctor-patient communication, doctor-patient relationship, patient experience, patient-centered care


This applied dissertation was designed to examine the verbal and non-verbal communication experiences of Black Caribbean diabetic women patients with their doctors, in order to provide a better understanding of the essential aspects of doctor- patient communication and their experiences as they managed their condition. Black Caribbean women have been disproportionately impacted by medical conditions such as diabetes. It has been a documented fact that minorities experience disparities in the health care system at different levels and doctor-patient communication is no exception. Poor doctor-patient communication has been known to hinder patients’ health outcomes, and therefore warrants such studies to increase the understanding of specific behaviors to improvement patient satisfaction and health outcomes.

The researcher developed an interview instrument/questionnaire using an expert and lecturer in Research and Graduate Studies in Public Health to validate it. The interview questionnaire which included semi-structured questions was used to conduct face-to-face, one on one interviews with 12 Black Caribbean diabetic women patients to investigate their experiences and perceptions of doctor-patient communication behaviors.

An analysis of the data revealed that while some Black Caribbean diabetic women patients experienced favorable doctor-patient communication many were discontented with their doctors’ communication behavior. The aspects of doctor-patient communication which most positively influenced doctor-patient communication satisfaction was not only dependent on whether or not desired value care was met but also included concordance, patient-centered care, and relationship building communication. When doctor-patient communication expectations were unmet, patients responded negatively by either being noncompliant which resulted in negative health outcomes, and in other cases decided to change to a more relatable doctor who met their doctor-patient communication needs.