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

Academic Article


  • 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.
  • Published In

  • AIDS and Behavior  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Budhwani H; Gakumo CA; Yigit I; Rice WS; Fletcher FE; Whitfield S; Ross S; Konkle-Parker DJ; Cohen MH; Wingood GM
  • Start Page

  • 1422
  • End Page

  • 1430
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 5