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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Public Health | doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00330

Chinese Minority Perceives the Doctor-Patient Relationship Differently: A Cultural and Economic Interpretation

 Qian Yang1*,  Hengjin Dong1, 2, Hao Zhang3, Mengfei Yu1, Yuxuan Gu1, Xueshan Sun1, Xuemei Zhen1, Xiaoqian Hu1, Jingming Wei1, Shuyan Gu1 and Yuhang Zeng1
  • 1Zhejiang University, China
  • 2Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, China
  • 3Hangzhou Normal University, China

In China, doctor-patient relationships (D-P relationships) are cited frequently and attracted international attention. This study assesses whether the D-P relationship experienced by the Chinese is associated with ethnicity, hospital hierarchies, and socioeconomic factors. In a national cross-sectional survey, multi-stage random sampling was adopted to assess regional and socio-economic differences between year 2016 and year 2017. Each area surveyed consisted of about 250 randomly chosen households, and valid results were obtained from 4173 adults aged 16–99. When provided a choice of eight types of D-P relationship, for doctors in primary care institutions, 63.8% of ethnic minorities indicated having a friend-type relationship with their physicians, with 23.3% having a trading/reciprocal relationship. Han Chinese, however, predicts the opposite relationship between doctors from different hierarchy and the types of D-P relationship. For physicians working in hospitals, this difference in relationship was more pronounced, where 52.9% of ethnic minorities indicated having a friend-type relationship with their physicians, and 30.1% indicated the presence of a trading/reciprocal relationship. For Han Chinese, however, 53.3% indicated having a reciprocal relationship with their doctor. Overall, the prevalence of friendly D-P relationships werewas correlated with ethnic minorities, lower levels of education, and lower incomes. Ethnic minorities are most likely to perceive their physicians as friends, while Han Chinese are more likely to perceive a trading relationship with their physicians. The primary contribution of this research is the finding that D-P relationships differ for Han Chinese and other ethnic minorities.

Keywords: Socioeconomic status, Ethnic Minorities, medical sociology, Social Change, Hospital Hierarchy, Doctor-patient relationship

Received: 06 Aug 2019; Accepted: 24 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Yang, Dong, Zhang, Yu, Gu, Sun, Zhen, Hu, Wei, Gu and Zeng. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Qian Yang, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China,