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Finding Collaboration in Medical Care: Culture and Ethnicity in Hawaii

25 July 2011


In addition to healthcare disparities, medical treatment with ethnic minorities may be impacted by cultural differences in communication style. Unique cultural environments such as Hawaii illustrate the need for a greater understanding of factors that motivate ethnic minority patients to communicate effectively with physicians. The purpose of this study was to modify the model of patient motivation to communicate created by Kim et al. (2000) in a Hawaii sample. It was hypothesized that respondents with higher levels of interdependent self-construal (a measure of cultural values and attitudes) would be less motivated to participate with physicians and would place less value on the medical treatment of their chronic pain (e.g., self-blame). The data indicated a truncated range of responses on the measure of self-construal. Due to insufficient variability in the independent variable (self-construal), findings were contrary to the expected hypotheses. Post-hoc analyses were conducted instead of the planned analysis to investigate other cultural and demographic characteristics (e.g., ethnicity) that may influence self-construal and patient motivation to communicate. Three statistically significant correlations (Pearson’s r) were found between participation beliefs and communication apprehension, participation beliefs and assertive communication, and assertiveness and interdependent self-construal. Results did not indicate a significant multivariate main effect for ethnic identification. The findings provide implications of exploring other methods and variables in future studies on patient-physician communication in Hawaii.


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