Patient perceptions of access to care and referrals to specialists: A comparison of African-American and white older patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis

John P.F. Lopez, Christopher J. Burant, Laura A. Siminoff, C. Kent Kwoh, Said A. Ibrahim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Background: There is a marked racial difference in the use of knee and hip replacement for osteoarthritis (OA). The reasons for this disparity remain unclear. We examined how African-American and white patients with symptomatic OA of the knee and/or hip compare with respect to their perceptions of care for knee and hip OA. Methods: Survey of 596 male patients with OA of the knee and/or hip in primary care clinics at Cleveland VAMC. Results: African-American (44%) and white (56%) study participants were comparable with respect to age and clinical factors. African Americans were more likely to have VA insurance only [OR=1.93 (1.13-3.28)]. African Americans were less likely to report difficulty getting medical care when needed [OR=0.54 (0.34-0.88)]. Differences in the two groups regarding satisfaction with and confidence in the primary physician were not significant. The proportions of participants who received specialty care referals were similar. Conclusion: African-American patients reported having only VA insurance more often than white patients. Other aspects of perceived system and provider-based factors were similar between groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-673
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Joint replacement
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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