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Effects of Race and Language on Patient-Centered Cancer Nursing Care and Patient Outcomes


Nursing prides itself on the ability to advocate for patients. However, questions are raised in the National Health Care Disparities Reports from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality about how well nurses communicate with African Americans, Hispanics, and people who speak languages other than English. Our secondary analysis of patient data collected at an urban safety-net hospital oncology unit examined the relationships among race, language, patient-centered nursing care, and patient outcomes. Using path modeling techniques, findings indicate that patient-centered care and associated outcomes for African American/Black and Others differ from those for Whites. For the African American/Black and Others group, individualization played a more significant role in achieving a sense of well-being, optimism, and authentic self-representation. Patients who spoke a language other than English at home had different perceptions of their nurses' responsiveness; nurses' responsiveness in turn affected patients' trust in nurses. Future testing is recommended for relationships between patient-centered nursing care and patient outcomes in underserved populations.