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HIV-infected women's relationships with their health care providers in the rural deep south: an exploratory study.


Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0022, USA.


Through this qualitative study we explored the patient/provider relationships of rural HIV-infected women. Thirty-nine women from rural Alabama were recruited to participate in one of four focus groups. The focus groups were audiorecorded, and the participants were asked to complete surveys measuring patient/provider trust. The verbatim-transcribed audio recordings were analyzed using content analysis. The participants' descriptions of their relationships with health care providers were represented by three major thematic categories: caring, informative, and competent. These findings provide a foundation for further research on the role of patient/provider relationships in the health outcomes of HIV disease in rural, resource-poor settings.