Differences in the quality of health care received by advantaged versus disadvantaged groups are a major contributor to health disparities. The quality of communication that occurs between patients, their families, and health care providers is a core component of quality health care. Thus, it is critically important to consider the role of clinical communication in health disparities. There are factors that may influence the quality of communication during clinical interactions and, in turn, contribute to health disparities.

Three factors influence the quality of clinical communication and potentially lead to health disparities: societal, individual, and interpersonal. A great deal of attention has been paid to ways in which societal factors, such as access to health care and healthy food, clean and safe housing, and neighborhood circumstances, differentially ...

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