Negative healthcare encounters have implications for preventive medical services and continuity of healthcare. This study examined the influence of positive cultural beliefs about health professionals and perceived professional empathy on continuity of cancer screening care in the context of a negative healthcare encounter. A mixed-methods research approach was implemented to examine the relations among cultural beliefs, perceived professional empathy, interpersonal emotions, and continuity of care among 237 Latin American (Latino) and non-Latino White (Anglo) American women that reported a negative healthcare encounter. Multi-group structural equation modeling revealed that for Latino and Anglo women, positive cultural beliefs about health professionals in general were associated with higher perceived empathy on the part of a professional involved in a negative encounter. In addition, for Latino women, perceptions of higher professional empathy and less negative emotions were associated with better continuity of cancer screening. These findings highlight both cultural and interpersonal psychological factors involved in healthcare interactions that may ameliorate the detrimental effects of negative healthcare encounters such as disruptions in continuity of care.

LLU Discipline

Clinical Psychology


Clinical Psychology


School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Patricia M. Flynn

Second Advisor

Juan Carlos Belliard

Third Advisor

Hector M. Betancourt

Fourth Advisor

Sylvia M. Herbozo

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Continuity of Patient Care -- psychology; Preventive Health Services -- ethnology; Delivery of Health Care -- ethnology; Attitude of Health Personnel -- ethnology; Empathy Attitude to Health -- ethnology; Minority Groups -- psychology; Hispanic Americans -- psychology; European Continental Ancestry Group -- psychology; Social Perception; Socioeconomic Factors; Cross-Cultural Comparison; Cross-Sectional Studies



Page Count

ix; 39 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives