Abstract: This study investigates differences between native Dutch and Turkish-Dutch patients with respect to media usage before and patient participation during medical consultations with general practitioners. In addition, the authors assessed the relation between patient participation and communication outcomes. The patients were recruited in the waiting rooms of general practitioners, and 191 patients (117 native Dutch, 74 Turkish-Dutch) completed pre- and postconsultation questionnaires. Of this sample, 120 patients (62.8%; 82 native Dutch, 38 Turkish-Dutch) agreed to have their consultations recorded to measure patient participation. Compared with Turkish-Dutch patients of similar educational levels, results showed that native Dutch patients used different media to search for information, participated to a greater extent during their consultations and were more responsive to their general practitioner. With respect to the Turkish-Dutch patients, media usage was related to increased patient participation, which was correlated with having fewer unfulfilled information needs; however, these relations were not found in the native Dutch patient sample. In conclusion, interventions that enhance participation among ethnic minority patients will better fulfill informational needs when such interventions stimulate information-seeking behavior in that group before a medical consultation.
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