Patient Health Literacy and Communication with Providers Among Women Living with HIV: A Mixed Methods Study

Budhwani H., Gakumo C. A., Yiğit İ., Rice W. S., Fletcher F. E., Whitfield S., ...More

AIDS AND BEHAVIOR, vol.26, no.5, pp.1422-1430, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10461-021-03496-2
  • Journal Name: AIDS AND BEHAVIOR
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, CINAHL, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), EMBASE, Gender Studies Database, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1422-1430
  • Keywords: Health communication, Health literacy, HIV, African American, Latina, MEDIATING ROLES, CARE SETTINGS, STIGMA, ADHERENCE, QUALITY, PEOPLE, DETERMINANTS, OUTCOMES, IMPACT, RACISM
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


In this mixed-methods study, we examine the relationship between provider communication and patient health literacy on HIV continuum of care outcomes among women living with HIV in the United States. We thematically coded qualitative data from focus groups and interviews (N = 92) and conducted mediation analyses with quantitative survey data (N = 1455) collected from Women's Interagency HIV Study participants. Four qualitative themes related to provider communication emerged: importance of respect and non-verbal cues; providers' expressions of condescension and judgement; patient health literacy; and unclear, insufficient provider communication resulting in diminished trust. Quantitative mediation analyses suggest that higher health literacy is associated with higher perceived patient-provider interaction quality, which in turn is associated with higher levels of trust in HIV providers, improved antiretroviral medication adherence, and reduced missed clinical visits. Findings indicate that enhancing provider communication and bolstering patient health literacy could have a positive impact on the HIV continuum of care.