H.C.J.M. de Haes
- Trust and Perceptions of Physicians’ Nonverbal Behavior Among Women with Immigrant Backgrounds
- Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
- Volume | Issue number
- 20 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Previous findings suggest immigrant patients have lower trust in their physicians, and perceive nonverbal communication differently compared to non-immigrant patients. We tested discrepancies in trust and the impact of non-verbal behavior between immigrants and non-immigrants in The Netherlands. Nonverbal communication of an oncologist was systematically varied in an experimental video vignettes design. Breast cancer patients (n = 34) and healthy women (n = 34) viewed one of eight video versions and evaluated trust and perceived friendliness of the oncologist. In a matched control design, women with immigrant and non-immigrant backgrounds were paired. Immigrant women reported stronger trust. Nonverbal communication by the oncologist did not influence trust differently for immigrants compared to for non-immigrants. However, smiling strongly enhanced perceived friendliness for non-immigrants, but not for immigrants. Immigrant patients’ strong trust levels may be formed a priori, instead of based on physicians’ communication. Physicians may need to make extra efforts to optimize their communication.
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