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J Gen Intern Med. 2004 Oct;19(10):1019-26.

Does patient-centered care improve provision of preventive services?

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  • 1Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Public Policy Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.



While patient-centered care (PCC) is desirable for many reasons, its relationship to treatment outcomes is controversial. We evaluated the relationship between PCC and the provision of preventive services.


We obtained facility-level estimates of how well each VA hospital provided PCC from the 1999 ambulatory Veterans Satisfaction Survey. PCC delivery was measured by the average percentage of responses per facility indicating satisfactory performance from items in 8 PCC domains: access, incorporating patient preferences, patient education, emotional support, visit coordination, overall coordination of care, continuity, and courtesy. Additional predictors included patient population and facility characteristics. Our outcome was a previously validated hospital-level benchmarking score describing facility-level performance across 12 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force-recommended interventions, using the 1999 Veterans Health Survey.


Facility-level delivery of preventive services ranged from an overall mean of 90% compliance for influenza vaccinations to 18% for screening for seat belt use. Mean overall PCC scores ranged from excellent (>90% for the continuity of care and courtesy of care PCC domains) to modest (<70% for patient education). Correlates of better preventive service delivery included how often patients were able to discuss their concerns with their provider, the percent of visits at which patients saw their usual provider, and the percent of patients receiving >90% of care from a VA hospital.


Improved communication between patients and providers, and continuity of care are associated with increased provision of preventive services, while other aspects of PCC are not strongly related to delivery of preventive services.

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