The purpose of this study was to investigate the ways patient identity and verbal communication between doctors and college aged (18-22) patients influences the patient’s level of compliance and disclosure, specifically from the perspective of the patients. Previous research found that patient-centered communication is the best way to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship because it influences the ways in which patients disclose information and comply to medications or treatment plans. This study contributes to previous research but offers a unique perspective through focusing on college-aged patients who visit a primary-care doctor. A quantitative approach was taken for this study through the use of an online survey and data analysis. Findings from this study show that doctor communication has a significant relationship with patient disclosure, compliance, and the patient’s feelings and behaviors, such as how much information they seek and how included they feel in health decisions. In terms of patient identity, self-esteem was found to have a significant relationship with how confident the patient is about their health and how much information they disclose. Results also found that the patient being treated like an adult affects how included they feel by their doctor, the patient’s level of satisfaction with their doctor, and their overall rating of the doctor’s communication.

Keywords: compliance, disclosure, patient-centered communication


Johnson, Michelle


Communication Studies


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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