Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Bruce Zahn, EdD, ABPP

Second Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Barbara Williams-Page, DO, MBA, FACOFP


Communication and appreciation for culturally significant factors are essential to the helping relationship between the patient and the interdisciplinary team members in the health care setting. Historically, the relationship between African Americans and health care professionals in the American health care system has been one of mistrust based on unequal treatment, stereotypes, and other factors negatively affecting rapport. The main purpose of this study was to identify the cultural considerations within the Black and African American communities and their impact on the relationship between interdisciplinary care team members and their African American patients. This study used a qualitative grounded theory design and included 12 individuals aged 19 years and older recruited from the southeastern Pennsylvania, metro Philadelphia area. Semistructured interviews were conducted to gather information regarding cultural considerations African Americans deemed to be important in their interactions with interdisciplinary team members. Results identified 11 themes across five contexts that suggest relevant cultural factors for African Americans working with physical and mental health providers. Themes included Patient-Provider Collaboration, Personal Values and Sharing, Physical Environment, Empathy, Provider Reviews, Cultural Awareness and Competency, Racial Connections, Health Care Teams, Follow-up Referrals, Provider Mistrust, and Stereotypes and Stigma. Overlap in themes suggested the importance of the role of values and trust in rapport building during health care interactions. Future research may benefit from studies discussing and acknowledging the impact of providers eliciting the individual values relevant to African American patients during these patients' health care visits on patients' perceptions of trust and health outcomes.