Perceptions of patient-provider communication and receipt of mental health treatment among older adults with depressive symptoms

Katherine L. Nelson, Jonathan Purtle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study aimed to: (1) determine if and how perceptions towards healthcare providers differ between older adults with and without clinically signifcant depressive symptoms (CSDS), and (2) assess whether perceptions towards providers are associated with receipt of mental health treatment among older adults with CSDS. Methods: Data from the 2013 and 2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey were used to examine CSDS prevalence, receipt of mental health treatment, and perceptions of provider communication among community-dwelling adults ≥ age 65 (N = 6,936) using four of the ‘How Well Doctors Communicate’ composite items from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems(CAHPS). Multivariate logistic regression was used. Results: CSDS are associated with greater odds of having ‘poor’ perceptions of provider communication on all four CAHPS communication measures. Perceptions of provider communication are similar among older adults with CSDS who received and did not receive mental health treatment, except on an item measuring a provider's ability to explain information in ways patients understand. Conclusion: Older adults with CSDS have more negative perceptions of the quality of their communication with healthcare providers than their peers. Healthcare systems should consider how to accommodate these patients’ unique needs and communication preferences to ensure receipt of quality care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-490
Number of pages6
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

Keywords

  • communication
  • Depressive symptoms
  • mental health
  • older adults
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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